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By R. N. PRICE. 


From the Year 1844 to the Year 1870. 



Nashville, Tenn.; Dallas, Tex.; Richmond, Va.: 
Publshing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 

Smith & Lamar, Agents. 

Copyright, i9iz, 


R. N. Price. 


I had intended that Volume IV. should complete the 
history of "Holston Methodism" so far as I was con- 
cerned; but matter continued to come in and I con- 
tinued to write until I had the history brought down to 
the year 1897, when to my consternation I was in- 
formed by the publishers that what I'had written would 
make about a thousand pages. I then consulted with 
members of the committee, and others and with Bishops 
Hoss and Waterhouse, and the result was a determi- 
nation to make two volumes instead of one. It was 
thought best to have the volumes of the history as 
nearly uniform in size as possible. 

As this volume extends from 1844 to 1870, it passes 
through the Civil War and reconstruction periods, and 
therefore deals with some sensational events. But 
while I have written as a Southern man with Southern 
prejudices, I have endeavored to be fair and as impar- 
tial as possible. Some will object to my candid account 
of the blunders of the Conference during the war. My 
reply is that as an honest historian I could not cover 
up these things. A historian is, like a witness under 
oath, bound to tell the truth and the whole truth, for 
"a half truth is a whole lie." 

I have been careful to lay stress upon religious ex- 
perience and practice; and I have therefore told some 
simple stories of bright conversions, joyful occasions 
of refreshings from the presence of the Lord, and 



triumphant deathbed scenes to stimulate the faith of 
the Church and to bring her back, so far as possible, 
to the warm, demonstrative religion of the fathers. 
While writing these things my own soul has been 
blessed, and I hope that many of my readers will have 
a like experience. R. N. Price. 

Morristown, Tenn., August 13, 1912. 


In the scholastic year 1846-47 I met the author of this 
history. We were then schoolboys in Emory and 
Henry College (Virginia), both still in our teens, both 
born and brought up in the country on the farm in 
Methodist homes of the old family altar type — he in 
Virginia and I in Tennessee. We both felt a call to 
the ministry, but kept it a secret. We joined the same 
literary society in college; and when our school work 
ended, in June, 1850, we were licensed to preach, and 
in October joined the Holston Conference together on 
trial. From that day to this we have stood shoulder 
to shoulder, elbows touching for sixty-two years as 
members of the Conference. We were both chaplains 
in the Confederate army. Like birds of a feather, we 
flocked together. With such antecedents, I need hardly 
say that it gives me much pleasure to introduce and 
commend this fourth volume of our Holston history. 

Of this series of Holston histories, of which this is 
the fourth, somewhat may be said: For twenty and 
more years we as a Conference had the question of a 
Holston history under consideration from time to time. 
Finally we requested Dr. W. G. E. Cunnyngham to 
take the matter in hand. He collected a good deal of 
material. But the task of writing was not actually 
undertaken until Dr. Price consented to give up all 
other work and apply himself to it. It has so happened 
that I have been Chairman of the Publishing Commit- 
tee through the many ups and downs consequent upon 



such an undertaking. The business of book-making 
was new both to the author and to the Committee of 
Publication. So we cautiously ventured to get out one 
volume, hit or miss. This volume proved satisfactory 
to the preachers and to the Church, revealing the very 
superior qualification and adaptation of the gifted au- 
thor for such a work, and also the fact that a large 
amount of historical matter important to the present 
and coming generations was bound up in Holston his- 
tory and ought to be preserved. And so we have kept 
on, adding volume to volume, until we have reached 
this the fourth in the series. 

These volumes have by common consent increased 
in interest as they have approached our present time. 
Having noted the contents and seen the proof sheets of 
this one, I am quite sure it will surpass all the others 
in general interest. 

Some may criticize us for not having condensed and 
syncopated so as to get all in two volumes, but he who 
will read the four volumes will find it difficult to se- 
lect anything which could be left out without mutilat- 
ing the wonderful story of our fathers and mothers and 
their heroic work in these Holston hills. Indeed, if 
you knew the hundreds of interesting facts which have 
come up from time to time clamoring for a place in 
the record but have been rejected by the conservative 
and careful author, you would change your mind. 
There is matter of thrilling interest still on hand which 
by rights ought to appear in a fifth volume. And in 
this volume ought to appear as an appendix the ap- 
pointments of the preachers from the organization of 
the Conference in 1824 to the present. This and 


more modern matter in hand would make the fifth 
volume the most popular and useful of the series. 

The Herculean task of Dr. Price in collecting the 
facts and putting in good, concise, clear, and readable 
English this series of our Holston history merits our 
grateful appreciation. He did the great work often 
under severe bodily afflictions, as I know. Our prayer 
is that He who has so marvelously sustained him thus 
far may grant him health to finish it, and may there be 
light in the evening! D. Sullins. 

Cleveland, Tenn., August 30, 1912. 


CHAPTER I. Page . 

Overture of the Southern Conferences for a Compromise 
— Southern Charges Acquiesce in the Separation — Meth- 
odists in the North Dissatisfied with the Action of the 
General Conference — General Conference of 1848 Re- 
pudiates the Plan of Separation — Change Sought in the 
Sixth Restrictive Rule — Requisite Three-Fourths Major- 
ity Not Obtained — Decision of the Supreme Court of the 
United States— The Fifth Restrictive Rule Another Al- 
leged Obstacle to the Separation — Opinion of the Su- 
preme Court on This Question — Attitude of the Bishops 
to the Plan — Letter of Bishop Morris Declining to En- 
courage Subdivision — Southern Conferences Indorse the 
Plan — The Louisville Convention — Bishop Soule's Ad- 
dress to the Body — Committee Appointed to Consider 
the Question of Separation — Southern Conferences 
Erected into a Separate Jurisdiction — Soule and Andrew 
Received as Bishops of the New Organization — William 
Capers and Robert Pane Elected and Ordained Bishops 


Conference of 1845. 

Resolutions Adopted Aligning the Conference with the M. 
E. Church, South — Delegates Elected to the General 
Conference to Meet in Petersburg — Resolution Adopted 
in Opposition to the Renting and Selling of Pews in 
Churches, to Instrumental Music in Worship, and to 
Theological Schools — The Methodist Episcopalian News- 
paper Projected — The Hopkinsian Controversy — The 
"Great Iron Wheel" Controversy — Statistics — Notice of 
David Ring — Gabriel F. Page and Wife — Alexander N. 
Harris — Russell Reneau 18 




Conference of 1846. PagCi 

Report 01 Committee on Methodist Episcopalian — Preach- 
ers Bind Themselves Individually for the Liabilities of 
the Paper — Salary of the Editor — Contract with the 
Messrs. Barry, Publishers — Financial Condition of the 
Paper — Visiting Committees to the Conference Schools 
— Resolution Adopted Looking to Free Board and Tui- 
tion for Preachers' Sons at Emory and Henry College — 
Statistics — John D. Gibson — Robert A. Young — Bishop 
Capers ♦ 37 


Conferences of 1847, 1848, and 1849. 

Committee Appointed to Ascertain Amount of Dividends 
Due from Book Concern and Chartered Fund — String- 
field Indorsed as Agent for American Bible Society — 
Death of John Bowman Announced — Organization of a 
Bible Society — Drafts on Book Concern and Chartered 
Fund Not Honored — Statistics — Allen H. Mathes — His 
Conversion and That of His Wife — John Ruble's Ex- 
perience — Nuclei of a Methodist Publishing House — 
Stringfield Slandered — The Methodist Episcopalian in 
Debt — The Establishment of Strawberry Plains High 
School — Statistics — Bishop Paine — Oscar F. Cunningham 
—Bennett Cunningham — John Hoyle — Delegates Elected 
to the Ensuing General Conference — Resolutions Adopt- 
ed Looking to a History of the Conference — General 
Conference Delegates Instructed to Oppose Any Change 
in the Discipline on Slavery — Statistics — William Stur- 
gess — John W. Thompson — John Alley — Jackson S. 
Burnett — Dr. John Hoge — Cleveland and Bradley Coun- 
ty — First Missionaries in Ocoee District — First Church 
Buildings in Cleveland — Origin of Centenary College — 
Lorenzo Delano — Col. John Ross 49 



Conferences of 1850 and 185 1. P 

Files of the Minutes Reported in Bad Condition — Action 
of the General Conference Requiring All Conference 
Proceedings, Including Reports of Committees, to Be 
Copied into a Book — Memorial Sermon of Bishop Bas- 
com — Southern Methodist Pulpit — Strawberry Plains 
High School — Standing Committee on Missions Ap- 
pointed — The Establishment of a School for the North 
Carolina Indians Suggested by the Bishop — The Case of 
Milton Maupin — Statistics — Philip Anderson — Rufus M. 
Whaley — Joseph H. Peck — Randolph Dulaney Wells — 
Tender to the Conference of the Western Carolina Fe- 
male College — Origin of Holston Conference Female 
College — W. C. Graves Complained of for Selling the 
Publications of the American Sunday School Union — 
The Presiding Elders Charged with Mismanagement 
of Missionary Funds, and Vindicated — Memorial from 
Greeneville in Regard to the Establishment of a Female 
College — Action of Quarterly Conference in the Case of 
Zachary Munsey Reversed — Report of William Hicks on 
the Condition of the Indian School in North Carolina — 
W. G. E. Cunnyngham Recommended for Missionary to 
China — Statistics — Miles Foy — Leander Wilson — Charles 
W. Charlton—David R. McAnally. 83 


Conferences of 1852 and 1853. 

C. D. Smith Recommended as Agent of the American 
Colonization Society — Arrangement for Dealing in the 
Books of the American Sunday School Union — W. G. E. 
Cunnyngham's Departure for China — Report of the In- 
dian Mission — Deeds of Lots in Asheville for School 
Purposes — Statistics — Charles Collins — The Ross Con- 
troversy — The Glade Spring Debate — W. R. Long — 
George K. Snapp — Eli K. Hutsell — Account of a Revival 


Beginning at What is Now Lafollette— Erastus Rowley 
—J. C. Pendergrast— Mrs. Elizabeth Truslow— Asheville 
and Buncombe County— The First Methodist Society 
in Asheville— Asheville Made a Station— The Growth of 
Methodism in Asheville— Daniel Lyle— Samuel Lotspeich 
—A Lynching— A Revival at Henninger's Chapel— Sev- 
eral Family Connections Gathered into the Church- 
Uncle Si Rogers— Louisa Kirklin— An Unusual Amount 
of Disciplinary Trouble— Establishment of the Kennedy 
Fund— Delegates Elected to the General Conference- 
John H. Brunner Appointed to Hiwassee College— Brun- 
ner's Report in 1877— The College as a Peabody Normal 
School— New Buildings— The College Leased to the M. 

E. Church, South — Camp Grounds in Monroe County — 
Joseph Forshee — Statistics — Edward W. Chanceaulme 
and Wife — Origin of Sullins College — Adonijah Wil- 
liams — David and Stephen Adams — Dr. James A. Rea- 
gan — Judge John Henninger Reagan — John Key and 
Family — Jesse Forshee 113 


Conferences of 1854, 1855, 1856, and 1857. 

Resolution against Premature Matrimonial Engagements 
Voted Down — John M. Carlisle Introduced — Sullins 
Called to Jonesboro School — Holston Christian Advocate 
Merged into the Nashville Christian Advocate — Address 
of Charles Taylor, Missionary to China — Statistics — 
Burnsville High School — Newton C. Edmondson — As- 
bury Camp Meeting— W. K. Cross — Washington Boring 
— Bishop Pierce — Arrival in Knoxville of the First Rail- 
road Train — Eloquent Speeches of A. R. Erwin, of the 
Tennessee Conference — Dr. E. W. Sehbn — Thomas A. 
R. Nelson, Esq. — Hugh Johnson — Statistics — Alexander 

F. Cox — Lemuel C. Waters — Joseph R. Burchfield J. B. 

McMahon — O. B. Callaham — Judge Robert Hyndes 

Jacob F. Broyles— John W. Wilhoit— Richard Bird 

Mention of Bishop Andrew — East Tennessee Fair 

Strawberry Plains High School — Emory and Henry Col- 



lege — Holston Conference Female College — Dr. Hamil- 
ton, of the Alabama Conference — Dr. Leroy M. Lee, of 
the Virginia Conference — Statistics — John. M. Kelley — 
Delegates to the General Conference — The Rule on 
Slavery — Depository at Richmond — Failure of the Quar- 
terly Review, Home Circle, Sunday School Visitor, and 
Richmond Christian Advocate to Pay Expenses — Success 
of the Christian Advocate at Charleston — Tender of 
Athens Female College — Origin of Martha Washington 
College — Statistics — Bishop Early — Joshua B. Little — 
John D. Baldwin — R. N. Price's Location — Alfred M. 
Goodykoontz — John M. Varnell — Marion and Smith 
County 173 


Conferences of 1858 and 1859. 

Men Appointed to Our Colleges — Conference Declines to 
Establish a Conference Organ — A Financial Plan Adopt- 
ed — Agent of the American Bible Society Appointed — A 
Bequest of Mrs. Hart — Conference Declines to Establish 
a Theological Institute — Report on Temperance — Rule 
on Slavery Expunged — Kind Remembrances of Our 
Missionary in China — Wiley to Preach Conference Ser- 
mon — Statistics — Hamilton County and Chattanooga — 
Origin and Progress of Methodism in Chattanooga — D. 
T. Fulton Lost in the Mountains — Alfred M. Goody- 
koontz — Charles Mitchell — Financial Plan Amended — 
The Will of George Ambrister — Mismanagement of the 
Ambrister Fund — Gannaway's Bequest — Organization of 
a Holston Conference Sunday School Society — Board of 
Trustees of Martha Washington College Authorized to 
Purchase the Preston Property — Thanks to McAnally — 
Resolutions in Favor of a Biblical Chair in Emory and 
Henry College — Statistics — E. E. Gillenwaters — George 
Creamer — Andrew Gass — Robertson and Sallie Ganna- 
way — Revival in Holston Conference Female College... 220 



Conferences of i860 and 1861. p age 

Dr. H. N. McTyeire Present — Appeal Case of William 
Foulds — Good Work by Our Colleges — Per Cent Paid 
on Salaries — Statistics — John W. Williamson — Revs. 
Mobrey and Abbey Introduced — Delegates to the General 
Conference Which Did Not Meet — William A. Harris — 
Chaplains in the Army — Statistics — Thomas J. Pope — 
Hezekiah West — Lemuel C. Waters — George W. K. 
Green— William H. Cooper — Crockett Godbey — Andrew 
C. Hunter — John R. Stradley — Francis Farley, Sr. — 
Secession of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee 
— The Bridge-Burning — Longstreefs Assault on Burn- 
side's Works at Knoxville — The Occupation of East 
Tennessee by the Two Armies — The Methodist Church, 
South, Torn to Pieces by the Strife — Murder of Captain 
Waugh — Bill Parker — Oliver Miller— Nathan Hobbs 262 

Conferences of 1862 and 1863. 

Apology for the Political Dabbling of the Conference — A 
Level-Headed Bishop — Dealings of the Conference with 
Union Preachers — Disregard of the Rule According to 
Preachers the Privilege of Trial and Appeal — Expulsion 
of John Spears — Action of the General Conference of 
1866 Reversing the Illegal Proceedings of the Holston 
Conference — Bishop Early's Complete Domination of the 
Conference — The Case of Burkett — The Opening Ser- 
mon — Report of Committee on the Cases of Rogers, 
Duggan, Daily, Hyden, Reed, Spears, Gumming, Russell, 
and Rutherford — Death of Sevier Announced — The 
Bishops Requested to Call a General Conference — Dele- 
gates Elected — Committee Appointed to Establish a 
Conference Organ — Holston Journal — Resolution Advis- 
ing Preachers and People to Pray for Peace — Statistics — 
William C. Daily — John W. Bowman — James S. Edwards 


— George W. Alexander — Conaro D. Smith — John W. 

Price and Wife — Cases of Renfro, Swisher, Rogers, Mil- 
burn, Robeson, John W. and J. L. Mann, Harwell, Rus- 
sell, and Cunnyngham — Expulsions — Confederate Money- 
Refused — Jacob Ditzler — Condition of the Colleges — Re- 
port of the Hoist on Journal — Origin of Waugh Fund — 
Statistics — Jonathan L. Mann — W. H. Rogers — William 
Milburn — W. H. H. Duggan — The Policy of Imprisoning 
Peaceable Citizens — Convention Looking to the Organi- 
zation of a Holston Conference (North) — Line of Ac- 
tion Marked Out — Mixing of Politics and Religion — 
Mrs. Mary Moore Gaines 297 

Conference of 1864. 

Disciplinary Action of the Conference — James Cumming, 
Jesse A. Hyden, and Thomas H. Russell Expelled — 
Appeal from the Ruling of the Bishop in These Cases — 
Report on Temperance — Election of Kennedy to the 
Presidency of Holston Conference Female College Con- 
firmed — Marion Ensign — Stoneman's Raid — Destruction 
of the Lead Mines and Salt Works — Statistics — Jesse A. 
Hyden — Thomas H. Russell — Rufus M. Stevens — Arrest, 
Imprisonment, and Death — Robert B. Vance — Organiza- 
tion of the Holston Conference (North) — Appointments 
— Spirit of the Conference — Murder of Captain Smith by 
Champ Ferguson — Major Stringfield's Interference 361 


Conferences of 1865 and 1866. 

Report on Education — The Comparative Worthlessness of 
Confederate Money — Report on the State of the Church 
— Comments on the Report — The Changed Attitude of 
Bishop Early — Statistics — David Fleming — William C. 
Graves — L. W. Crouch — F. D. Crumley — John W. Mann 
— James Mahoney — Francis M. Fanning — Edwin C 
Wexler — Joshua Roberts and Wife — Philetus Roberts — 
Action on the Holston Journal — Missionary Constitution 


Adopted — A Committee Appointed to Ascertain the 
Condition of the Church Property: — Organization of a 
Historical Society — Vote on a Change of the Name of 
the Church — Vote on Lay Representation — Constitution 
for District Conferences Adopted — Coleman Campbell 
— Conference Incorporated — Anson W. Cummings — Ed- 
ucational Report — Statistics — Decrease in Membership — 
Rapid Resuscitation — G. W. Callahan — A. D. Stewart — 
W. C. Bowman — G. W. Penley — William Kinsland — 
John F. Woodfin — A. G. Worley — John D. Wagg — 
Daniel R. Reagan — Bishop H. N. McTyeire 400 


Conferences of 1867 AND J 86& 

First Lay Delegates — Conference Incorporated — The Be- 
quest of Miss Smith — A Committee Appointed to Memo- 
rialize the General Conference of the M. E. Church in 
Relation to the Property Question — Arbogast Requested 
to Preach the Next Conference Sermon — Atkins Ap- 
pointed Commissioner of the Conference — Action in Re- 
gard to Fraternity with the Holston Conference, North 
— Action on the Ambrister Fund — Statistics — Thomas 
K. Catlett — Lay Delegates — Appointment of Trustees of 
the Kennedy Fund — Report on the Ambrister Fund — 
Action on the Waugh Fund — Deficiencies in the Salaries 
of Bishops — Property of Emory and Henry College — 
Report of the Agent of Martha Washington College — 
Copy of Memorial to the General Conference of the 
M. E. Church— Statistics— Whipping of H. C. Neal— 
"United States Church"— The Stanton-Ames Order— 
Dr. Matlock's Remarks about the Seizure of Our Prop- 
erty — George W. Jackson's Statements about the Neal 
Whipping — Bishop William M. Wightman 442 


Conference of 1869. 

Resolution on' Church Property — Delegates to General 
Conference — Address on Missions by Dr. Munsey — 


Action in Regard to the Ambrister Fund — Report on 
Church Property — Committee Appointed to Visit the 
Holston Conference (North) and Ask the Relinquish- 
ment of Our Property — Committee of the Conference 
(North) Appointed to Confer with Our Committee — 
Joint Session of the Two Committees — Paper Adopted 
by the Conference (North) — Treachery — Report on 
Education — Conference Resolves to Organize in the Sun- 
day Schools Juvenile- Missionary Societies — Statistics — 
Whipping of Jacob Smith — Philippics of Col. John 
Fleming— Apology for Dr. Pearne— Smith's Case in the 
Federal Court — Bishop D. S. Doggett 483 


Rev. William G. E. Cunnyngham, D.D Frontispiece 

Bishop William Capers 38 

Rev. Allen H. Mathes and Wife 52 

Bishop Robert Paine 60 

Rev. Charles Collins, D.D 120 

Hiwassee College Buildings 148 

Bishop George F. Pierce 174 

Jacob F. Broyles 197 

Bishop John Early 208 

Martha Washington College 211 

Conaro D. Smith, D.D 319 

Rev. Rufus M. Stevens 370 

Gen. Robert B. Vance 387 

Bishop H. N. McTyeire 438 

Bishop William M. Wightman 443 

Rev. Henry Clay Neal 461 

Bishop David S. Doggett 482 

Rev. Jacob Smith 490 


The Organization of the Methodist Episcopal 

Church, South. 

In Chapter XVIII. of Volume III. I gave a brief 
account of the immediate causes leading to the disrup- 
tion of the Methodist Episcopal Church and of the 
action of the General Conference in providing for a 
peaceable separation of the Church into two independ- 
ent jurisdictions. In Chapter XIX. I recorded the ac- 
tion of the Holston Conference on the question of sep- 
aration, including an overture to the Conferences in 
the nonslaveholding States for a convention of dele- 
gates from all the Conferences, North and South, to 
meet in Louisville, Ky., for the purpose of devising 
some plan of compromise. The bishops were requested 
to lay this overture before all the Conferences. I am 
not now prepared to say whether they did this or not, 
but it is certain that the overture was not responded to 
by the Northern Conferences. " The Methodist ministers 
and laymen of the Southern States, except along the 
border, almost unanimously acquiesced in the separa- 
tion. The interior charges scarcely felt the shock of 
the disruption. District work, station work, circuit 
work, class meetings, camp meetings, and revivals went 
on as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened. 

But in the Northern States there seems to have been 
great dissatisfaction with the action of the General 
Conference on the question of separation. Many abo- 
litionists would have been glad if more drastic meas- 


ures had been adopted in the case of Bishop Andrew. 
But there was in the Church a conservative element 
which could not see in any law of the New Testament 
or of the Methodist Discipline a justification of the 
summary action in his case ; especially they could not 
see the justice of virtually deposing this high function- 
ary from his office by mere resolution without due form 
f trial— a privilege guaranteed by the restrictive rules 
to every minister and member of the Church as' an in- 
alienable right. The abolition party could not see how 
so righteous and necessary an act as a request to Bishop 
Andrew to desist from the exercise of his office (which 
request many of them construed in the light of a man- 
damus) until he should disconnect himself with slavery 
could furnish a just cause for cutting the Church in 
two. The Conservatives opposed the separation on di- 
rectly opposite grounds. They did not approve of the 
action of the Conference in the case of Andrew, and 
objected to both the blunder and its consequences. The 
principal argument against separation insisted on in 
the Northern Conferences was that the General Con- 
ference had no constitutional authority to divide the 
Church. The General Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church of 1848 repudiated the Plan of Sep- 
aration adopted in 1844, declaring it "null and void." 
Its postulate on that question was as follows : 

That there exists no power in the General Conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church to pass any act which either 
directly or indirectly effectuates, authorizes, or sanctions a 
division of said Church ; that it is the right of every member 
to remain in said Church, unless guilty of a violation of its 
rules ; and there exists no power in the ministry, either indi- 


vidually or collectively, to deprive any member of said right — 
a right inviolably secured by the Fifth Restrictive Article in 
the Discipline, which guarantees to members, ministers, and 
preachers the right of trial and appeal; and any acts of the 
Church otherwise separating them from the Church contravene 
the constitutional rights and privileges of ministry and mem- 

The declaration of the nullity of the Plan of Sepa- 
ration in this postulate was based upon two consider- 
ations : the lack of authority in the General Conference 
to divide the Ghurch and the violation by the Plan of 
Separation of the Fifth Restrictive Rule. To these 
considerations were added the fact that the constitu- 
tional vote for the change of the Sixth Restrictive Rule 
had not been obtained and the allegation that Southern 
preachers had violated the provisions of the plan relat- 
ing to border charges. In regard to this last item 
Bishop McTyeire says : "At an early day troubles along 
the border became active; neither side was without 
fault." 1 But if the plan was unconstitutional and with- 
out binding force, as it was contended, what booted a 
disregard of its provisions as to border societies ? 

It was contended, but without sufficient reason, that 
an equitable division of the property of the Church 
could not be effected constitutionally without a change 
in the Sixth Restrictive Rule, which read as follows : 

They shall not appropriate the produce of the Book Concern 
nor of the Chartered Fund to any purpose other than for the 
benefit of traveling, supernumerary, superannuated, and worn- 
out preachers, their wives, widows, and children. 

The change proposed was the addition of the fol- 
lowing clause : "and to such other purposes as may be 


History of Methodism," p. 646. 


determined upon by the votes of two-thirds of the 
members of the General Conference." The requisite 
three-fourths majority of all the preachers of the 
Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church pres- 
ent and voting was not secured for this change. The 
result was : For concurrence — Northern Conferences, 
1,164; Southern Conferences, 971. Total, 2,135. For 
nonconcurrence, 1,070. In some Conferences the ques- 
tion was not voted on on its merits ; but the proposition 
to change the rule was negatived in order to prevent the 
separation, whereas the question of separation had al- 
ready been decided by the General Conference, and it 
only asked for the removal by the Annual Conferences 
of a supposed obstacle in theway of an equitable par- 
tition of the property of the Church. Fortunately for 
the South, the Supreme Court of the United States, 
which finally adjudicated the questions at issue, held 
that the General Conference had authority to divide 
the Church, and that a change in the Sixth Restrictive 
Rule was not necessary to a division of the property. 

But the General Conference of 1848, as the above 
postulate shows, found in the Fifth Restrictive Rule 
another insurmountable obstacle to separation en 
masse. That rule secured inviolably to all members, 
ministers, and preachers of the Church the right of 
trial and appeal, and the Conference held that the sep- 
aration of the Church into two jurisdictions violated 
this article of the constitution. This argument was 
also set aside by the opinion of the Supreme Court. 
The history of the Church justified this opinion. In 
1820 the Methodist Episcopal Church transferred all 
its societies and property in Lower Canada to the Brit- 


ish Wesleyan Connection in exchange for its societies 
and property in Upper Canada. This exchange trans- 
ferred the membership of every preacher and member 
in Lower Canada from the Methodist Episcopal Church 
to the Wesleyan Methodist Church ; but it seems not to 
have occurred to the General Conference that this ac- 
tion was a violation of the Fifth Restrictive Rule. The 
General Conference of 1828 divided the Church geo- 
graphically by setting off the Canada Annual Confer- 
ence, which thenceforward became the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church of Canada. But it seems that the General 
Conference did not believe that it was violating the 
Fifth Restrictive Rule in this division. Yet, notwith- 
standing these well-known precedents, the General Con- 
ference of 1848 made the wonderful discovery that the 
General Conference of 1844 had attempted in the Plan 
of Separation to expel ministers and members of the 
Church by mere resolution in contravention of the arti- 
cle of the constitution which inviolably-secured to them 
the privilege of trial and appeal. 

Here we have the remarkable ecclesiastical phenom- 
enon of one General Conference nullifying the enact- 
ments of another after those enactments had gone into 
effect and had passed beyond reconsideration and re- 
peal. It was as if an appeal had been taken from one 
General Conference to another. Indeed, it seems to 
me that if it is to be regarded as an appeal at all it 
was an appeal from Philip sober to Philip drunk. ' Be- 
sides, the General Conference of 1848 assumed the 
officious attitude of a self-appointed attorney of the 
injured ministers and members of the Southern Con- 
ferences who had been summarily transferred to a new 


jurisdiction, forgetting the very obvious principle that 
if the injured parties did not complain no one had any 
right to complain for them. They were the parties to 
kick. Again, ministers and members in the South were 
not compelled to acquiesce in the transfer. They were 
not compelled to remain in the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South ; and as to property rights, they had the 
protection of the courts. It is true that in interior 
charges the option lay between being Episcopal Meth- 
odists, South, and joining some. other Church, but re- 
maining in the Church, South, required of no person 
a change of faith or practice. The Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, was and is the true successor in the 
South of the original Methodist Episcopal Church, just 
as the Methodist Episcopal Church (North) was and is 
the true successor in the North of the original Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church ; but neither of these Churches 
is the original Methodist Episcopal Church in the Unit- 
ed States. With this view agrees the opinion of the 
Supreme Court : 

But we do not agree that this division was made without 
proper authority. On the contrary, we entertain no doubt but 
that the General Conference of 1844 was competent to make it ; 
and that each division of the Church, under the separate organ- 
ization, is just as legitimate and can claim as high a sanction, 
ecclesiastical and temporal, as the Methodist Episcopal Church 
first founded in the United States. The same authority which 
founded it in 1784 divided it and established two separate and 
independent organizations occupying the place of the old one. 

The Northern bishops, five in number, in council 
in 1845, acting under the Plan of Separation, re- 
garded it as of binding obligation and conformed 
their action to its provisions. The Missouri Confer- 


ence was the second border Conference to act on the 
question of adherence. Some of the preachers wished 
to adhere North and organize a Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church (North), and Bishop 
Morris was written to and invited to attend the Con- 
ference, that he might take charge of it. To this invi- 
tation he gave the following answer, which deserves to 
be preserved in the annals of the Church for all time : 

Burlington, Iowa, September 8, 1845. 
Rev. "Wilson S. McMurray. 

Dear Brother: Your letter of the 1st instant is now before 
me. The resolutions to which you refer did pass, unanimously, 
in the meeting of the bishops at New York in July. We all 
believe they are in accordance with the Plan of Separation 
adopted by the General Conference. Whether that Plan was 
wise or foolish, constitutional or unconstitutional, did not be- 
come us to say, it being our duty, as bishops, to know what the 
General Conference ordered to be done in a certain contin- 
gency, which has actually transpired, and to carry it out in good 
faith. It is, perhaps, unfortunate that the resolutions were not 
immediately published, but it was not thought necessary by a 
majority at the time they passed. Still our administration will 
be conformed to them. Bishop Soule's notice was doubtless 
founded upon them. 

As I am the responsible man at the Indiana Conference 
October 8, it will not be in my power to attend the Missouri 
Conference; nor do I. think it important to do so. Were I 
there, I could not, with my views of propriety and responsi- 
bility, encourage subdivision. If a majority of the Missouri 
Conference resolve to come under the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, that would destroy the identity of the Missouri 
Conference as an integral part of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. As to having two Missouri Conferences, each claim- 
ing to be the true one and demanding the dividends of the 
Book Concern and claiming the Church property, that is the 
very thing that the General Conference designed to prevent by 


adopting the amicable Plan of Separation. It is true that the 
minority preachers have a right, according to the general rule 
in the Plan of Separation, to be recognized still in the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church ; but in order to do that, they must go to 
some adjoining Conference in the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
The border charges may also, by majority of votes, decide 
which organization they will adhere to; and if reported in 
regular order to the Conference from which they wish to be 
supplied or to the bishop presiding, they will be attended to 
on either side of the line of separation. • But if any brethren 
suppose the bishops will send preachers from the North to 
interior charges, South, or to minorities of border charges to 
produce disruption, or that they will encourage minority 
preachers on either side of the line to organize opposition 
lines by establishing one Conference in the bounds of another, 
they are misled. That would be departing from the plain letter 
of the rule prescribed by the General Conference in the prem- 
ises. Editors may teach such nullification and answer for it 
if they will, but the bishops all understand their duty better 
than to indorse such principles. I acknowledge that under the 
practical operation of the Plan of Separation some hard cases 
may arise; but the bishops do not make, and have not the 
power to relieve, them. It is the fault of the rule, and not of 
the executive administration of it. In the meantime, there is 
much more bad feeling indulged in respecting the separation 
than there is necessity for. If the Plan of Separation had 
been carried out in good faith and Christian feeling on both 
sides, it would scarcely have been felt any more than the divi- 
sion of an Annual Conference. 

It need not destroy confidence or embarrass the work if the 
business be managed in the spirit of Christ. I trust the time is 
not very far distant when brethren, North and South, will cease 
their hostilities and betake themselves to their prayers and 
other appropriate duties in earnest. Then, and not till then, 
may we expect the Lord to bless us as in former days. I am, 
dear brother, 

Yours respectfully and affectionately, 

Thomas A. Morris. 


In thjs connection it will be called to mind that in 
1844 the bishops were broader and more just and gen- 
erous than the General Conference, and that the North- 
ern delegates of that body were decidedly more fair and 
honorable than the great body of the traveling preach- 
ers in the Northern Conferences. 

An examination of the Plan of Separation shows that 
the consummation of the Plan was made dependent 
upon no contingency except the will of the Southern 
Conferences. As. soon as the Annual Conferences in 
the slaveholding States should find it necessary to unite 
in a distinct ecclesiastical connection, the Plan, which 
was at first provisional, was to become actual. A 
change in the Sixth Restrictive Rule was an enabling 
act, not for separation, but for the division of the prop- 
erty after separation; and yet the Supreme Court held 
that no such enabling act was necessary for the pur- 
pose contemplated. The will of the Northern Annual 
Conferences was not, according to the action of the 
General Conference, a contingency of separation, and 
yet these Conferences by condemning the action of the 
General Conference and refusing to change the Sixth 
Restrictive Rule hoped to defeat the Plan. 

It was strange that the hyper-saintly preachers of the 
Northern Conferences — who confirmed the decision of 
the Baltimore Conference suspending by mere resolu- 
tion Mr. Harding from the ministry because he did not 
emancipate his wife's slaves, which he had no legal or 
moral right to do, and virtually deposed, by mere reso- 
lution, from the bishopric Bishop Andrew, who had 
become technically a slaveholder, but was at heart and 
in practice, as far as the civil law allowed, a nonslave- 


holder— should so dreadfully grieve at the action of the 
General Conference by which, by mere resolution, 
scores of slaveholding traveling- preachers, hundreds 
of slaveholding local preachers, and thousands of slave- 
holding members were, it was contended, ejected en 
masse from the Church ! It was strange that even after 
the consummation of the separation they could press to 
their bosoms the slaveholding ministers and members 
of Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri; for 
many of their traveling preachers owned slaves without 
interruption, and their local preachers and private mem- 
bers owned negroes and trafficked in them at will and 
yet remained in good standing in the Church. The 
Northern preachers, with all their boast of antislavery 
and abolition sentiments, were members of a Church 
which itself, in its membership, was a slaveholder up 
to the abolition of slavery by military and civil author- 
ity after the civil war; and many of them never ceased 
to grieve at the loss of their slaveholding membership 
in the South after the separation. 

The Annual Conferences throughout the slaveholding 
States indorsed with remarkable unanimity the course 
pursued by their delegates in the General Conference 
of 1844. I n these Conferences provision was made for 
holding a convention in Louisville, Ky., in compliance 
with the recommendation of the Southern and South- 
western delegates in that General Conference. To this 
convention delegates were elected in the ratio of one 
delegate to every eleven members of the Conferences. 

The delegates from the Kentucky, Missouri, Hol- 
ston, Tennessee, North Carolina, Memphis, Arkansas, 
Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, South 


Carolina, Florida, and Indian Mission Conferences as- 
sembled in the city of Louisville, Ky., on the first day 
of May, 1845. The convention was called to order at 
nine o'clock a.^i. by Dr. William Capers, and Dr. Lovick 
Pierce was elected President pro tern. Dr. Pierce 
opened the convention by reading the second chapter 
of the Epistle to the Philippians, announcing and sing- 
ing the hymn beginning with "Come, Holy Spirit, 
Heavenly Dove," and offering an impressive prayer. 
Thomas N. Ralston, of the Kentucky Conference, was 
chosen Secretary pro tern. Seventy-two. delegates pre- 
sented their vouchers and took their seats. The Hol- 
ston delegation consisted of Thomas K. Catlett, Thomas 
Stringfield, Rufus M. Stevens, Timothy Sullins, and 
Creed Fulton. On motion of Augustus B. Longstreet 
and William Capers, the bishops of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church present were, by unanimous rising vote, 
requested to preside over the convention. Bishops 
Soule, Andrew, and Morris were present. 

Thomas O. Summers, of the Alabama Conference, 
was elected permanent Secretary, and Thomas N. Ral- 
ston Assistant Secretary. 

On the second day of the convention Bishop Soule 
addressed the body as follows : 

I rise on the present occasion to offer a few remarks to this 
convention of ministers under the influence of feelings more 
solemn and impressive than I recollect ever to have experienced 
before. The occasion is certainly one of no ordinary interest 
and solemnity. I am deeply impressed with a conviction of 
the important results of your deliberations and decisions in 
relation to that numerous body of Christians and Christian 
ministers you here represent and to the country at large. And 
knowing as I do the relative condition of the vast community 


where your acts must be extensively felt, I cannot but feel a 
deep interest in the business of the convention, both as it 
respects yourselves and the millions who must be affected by 
your decisions. With such views and feelings, you will indulge 
me in an expression of confident hope that all your business 
will be conducted with the greatest deliberation and with that 
purity of heart and moderation of temper suitable to your- 
selves as a body of Christian ministers and to the important 
concerns which have called you together in this city. 

The opinion which I formed at the close of the late General 
Conference that the proceedings of that body would result in 
a division of the Church was not induced by the impulse of 
excitement, but .was predicated of principles and of facts after 
the most deliberate and mature consideration. That opinion I 
have freely expressed. And however deeply I have regretted 
such a result, believing it to be inevitable, my efforts have been 
made, not to prevent it, but rather that it might be attended 
with the least injury and the greatest amount of good which the 
case would admit. I was not alone in this opinion. A number 
of aged and influential ministers entertained the same views. 
And, indeed, it is not easy to conceive how any one intimately 
acquainted with the facts in the case and the relative position 
of the North and South could arrive at any other conclusion. 
Nothing has transpired since the close of the General Confer- 
ence to change the opinion I then formed, but subsequent 
events have rather confirmed it. In view of the certainty of 
the issue, and at the same time ardently desirous that the two 
great divisions of the Church might be in peace and harmony 
within their own respective bounds and cultivate the spirit of 
Christian fellowship, brotherly kindness, and charity for each 
other, I cannot but consider it an auspicious event that 
sixteen Annual Conferences, represented in this convention, 
have acted with such extraordinary unanimity in the meas- 
ures they have taken in the premises. In the Southern Con- 
ferences which I have attended I do not recollect that there 
has been a dissenting voice with respect to the necessity of a 
separate organization ; and although the"r official acts in decid- 
ing the important question have been marked with that clear- 


ness and decision which should afford satisfactory evidence 
that they have acted under a solemn conviction of duty to 
Christ and to the people of their charge, they have been equally 
distinguished by moderation and candor. And so far as I 
have been informed, all the other Conferences have pursued a 
similar course. 

It is* ardently to be desired that the same unanimity may 
prevail in the counsels of this convention as distinguished in 
such a remarkable manner the views, deliberations, and de- 
cisions of your constituents. When it is recollected that it is 
not only for yourselves and the present ministry and member- 
ship of the Conferences you represent that you are assembled 
on this occasion, but that millions of the present race and 
generations yet unborn may be affected in their most essential 
interest by the results of your deliberations, it will occur to 
you how important it is that you should "do all things as in 
the immediate presence of God." Let all your acts, dear 
brethren, be accompanied with much prayer for that wisdom 
which is from above. 

While you are thus impressed with the importance and so- 
lemnity of the subject which has occasioned the convention 
and of the high responsibility under which you act, I am con- 
fident that you will cultivate the spirit of Christian moderation 
and forbearance, and that in all your acts you will keep strict- 
ly within the limits and provisions of the Plan of Separation 
adopted by the General Conference with great unanimity and 
apparent Christian kindness. I can have no doubt of the firm 
adherence of the ministers and members of the Church in the 
Conferences you represent to the doctrines, rules, order of 
government, and forms of worship contained in our excellent 
Book of Discipline. For myself, I stand upon the basis of 
Methodism as contained in this book, and from it I intend 
never to be removed. I cannot be insensible to the expression 
of your confidence in the resolution you have unanimously 
adopted requesting me to preside over the convention in con- 
junction with my colleagues. And after having weighed the 
subject with careful deliberation, I have resolved to accept your 
invitation and discharge the duties of the important trust to 


the best of my ability. My excellent colleague, Bishop An- 
drew, is of the same mind and will cordially participate in the 
duties of the chair. I am requested to state to the convention 
that our worthy and excellent colleague, Bishop Morris, be- 
lieves it to' be his duty to decline a participation in the presi- 
dential duties. He assigns such reasons for so doing as are, 
in the judgment of his colleagues, perfectly satisfactory, and 
it is presumed that they would be considered in the same light 
by the convention. In conclusion, I trust that all things will be 
done in that spirit which will be approved of God, and devoutly 
pray that your acts may result in the advancement of the Re- 
deemer's kingdom and the salvation of the souls of men. 

Bishop Soule then took the chair. A committee con- 
sisting of two members from each Annual Conference 
represented in the convention was appointed to take 
into consideration the propriety and necessity of a 
Southern organization. The Holston members of this 
committee were Thomas K. Catlett and Thomas 

On May 15 this committee reported that it was in 
evidence that ninety-five per cent of the ministry and 
membership in the South — nearly five hundred thou- 
sand in all — deemed a division of jurisdiction indis- 
pensable ; that unless this was effected about a million 
slaves then hearing the gospel from our ministers would 
be withdrawn from their care ; and that while thus tak- 
ing their position the Southern Conferences were ready 
and willing to treat with the Northern division of the 
Church at any time for the adjustment of the difficulties 
of the controversy. The report, which was lengthy and 
which argued the causes and necessity of separation, 
closed with a resolution erecting the Conferences repre- 
sented in the convention into a distinct ecclesiastical 


connection and dissolving the jurisdiction hitherto ex- 
ercised over these Conferences by the General Confer- 
ence of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The report 
was laid on the table, and on the 15th taken up and 
adopted as a whole, with only two dissenting voices. 

Bishops Soule and Andrew were requested to unite 
with and become bishops of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, and in polite communications they ac- 
cepted the invitation. 

The first General Conference met in Petersburg, Va., 
May 1, 1846, numbering eighty-seven members. The' 
Holston delegates, who were present and took their 
seats, were Samuel Patton, David Fleming, Timothy 
Sullins, Thomas K. Catlett, and Elbert F. Sevier. 

On the second day of the convention the following 
letter was received from Bishop Soule and read : 

Petersburg, May 2, 1846. 

Reverend and Dear Brethren: I consider your body, as now 
organized, the consummation of the organization of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South, in conformity to the "Plan of 
Separation," adopted by the General Conference of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church in 1844. It is therefore in strict agree- 
ment with the provisions of that body that you are vested 
with full power to transact all business appropriate to a Meth- 
odist General Conference. 

I view this organization as having been commenced in the 
"Declaration" of the delegates of the Conferences in the slave- 
holding States, made at New York in 1844; and as having 
'advanced in its several stages in the "Protest," the "Plan of 
Separation," the appointment of delegates to the Louisville 
convention, in the action of that body, in the subsequent action 
of the Annual Conferences approving the acts of their dele- 
gates at the convention, and in the appointment of delegates 
to this General Conference, 


The organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
being thus completed in the organization of the General Con- 
ference with a constitutional president, the time has arrived 
when it is proper for me to announcetmy position. Sustain- 
ing no relation to one Annual Conference which I did not 
sustain to every other, and considering the General Conference 
as the proper judicatory to which my communication should be 
made, I have declined making this announcement until the 
present time. And now, acting with strict regard to the 
Plan of Separation and under a solemn conviction of duty, I 
formally declare my adherence to the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South. And if the Conference receive me in my 
present relation to the Church, T am ready to serve them 
according to the best of my ability. In conclusion, I indulge 
the joyful assurance that,- although separated from our North- 
ern brethren by a distinct Conference jurisdiction, we shall 
never cease to treat them as "brethren beloved," and cultivate 
those principles and affections which constitute the essential 
unity of the Church of Christ. Joshua Soule. 

Bishop Soule was received as one of the bishops of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, by a rising 
and unanimous vote. The adherence of this great 
man, this Lord Wellington of American Methodism, 
to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is one of 
the sensational features of Methodist history. Soule 
was born in Maine. His education and associations — 
indeed, his secular interests of every kind — drew him 
toward the Northern organization ; but principle, always 
his guiding star, drew him South. The action of an 
irresponsible majority in the case of Bishop Andrew, 
the trampling under foot in that case of constitution 
and law by the mere force of numbers, the avowal for 
the then present purpose of the unheard-of doctrine 
that a Methodist bishop is only an officer at will of the 


General Conference and may be unfrocked at any time, 
"with or without cause, accusation, proof, or form of 
trial, as a dominant majority may capriciously elect 
or party interests suggest," 1 together with his views 
of Episcopal prerogative, which caused him to decline 
ordination to the bishopric in 1820 — these considera- 
tions aligned him with the South. 

At this General Conference connectional officers 
were elected, and Drs. William Capers and Robert 
Paine were elected and ordained bishops. Before the 
adjournment of the Conference Dr. Lovick Pierce was, 
by a rising and unanimous vote, appointed a fraternal 
messenger to the General Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church to meet in Pittsburg, Pa., May 1, 

Thus closes a very imperfect sketch of the launching 
of the Southern Methodist Church — a body that has 
been mighty in usefulness to the whites and blacks of 
the South, that passed through the fires of the sixties 
and came out reduced in wealth and numbers but strong 
in faith and holy purpose, and is now growing in num- 
bers and influence for good with phenomenal rapidity. 

1 Bascom. See Redford's "Organization of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South," pp. 464, 465. 


The Conference of 1845 — Twenty-Second Session. 

The first session of the Holston Conference held aft- 
er the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, was held in Athens, Tenn., beginning October 
8, 1845, Bishop Andrew in the chair, Conaro D. Smith 

As a matter of course, the question of the division of 
the Church and the organization of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, came up. The following pream- 
ble and resolutions were presented by Samuel Patton 
and adopted: 

Whereas the long-continued agitation on the subject of 
slavery and abolition in the Methodist Episcopal Church did 
at the General Conference of said Church held in the city of 
New York in May, 1844, result in the adoption of certain 
measures by that body which seriously threatened a disruption 
of the Church; and to avert this calamity said General Con- 
ference did devise and adopt a plan contemplating a peaceful 
separation of the South from the North, and constituting the 
Conferences in the slaveholding States the sole judges of the 
necessity for such separation; and whereas the Conferences 
in the slaveholding States, in the exercise of the right accorded 
to them by the General Conference, did by thejr representatives 
in convention at Louisville, Ky., in May last, decide that sep- 
aration was necessary, and did proceed to organize themselves 
into a separate and distinct ecclesiastical connection under 
the style and title of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
basing their claim to a legitimate relation to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in the United States upon their unwavering 
adherence to the "Plan of Separation" adopted by the General 
Conference of said Church in 1844, and their devotion to the 


doctrines, discipline, and usages of the Church as they re- 
ceived them from their fathers; and as the Plan of Separation 
provided that Conferences bordering on the geographical line 
of separation shall decide their relations by the votes of a 
majority, and also that ministers of every grade shall make 
their election North or South without censure; therefore be it 

Resolved, first, That we now proceed to determine the 
question of our ecclesiastical relation by the vote of the Con- 

Resolved, secondly, That we, the members of the Holston 
Annual Conference, claiming all the rights, powers, and privi- 
leges of an Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in the United States, do hereby make our election with 
and adhere to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 

Resolved, thirdly, That while we thus declare our adher- 
ence to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, we repudiate 
the idea of separation in any schismatic or offensive sense of 
the phrase, as we neither give up nor surrender anything 
which we have received as constituting any part of Method- 
ism, and adhere to the Southern ecclesiastical organization in 
strict accordance with the provisions of the Plan of Separa- 
tion adopted by the General Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church at its session in New York in May, 1844. 

Resolved, fourthly, That we are satisfied with our Book of 
Discipline as it is on the subject of slavery and every other 
vital feature of Methodism as recorded in that book ; and that 
we will not tolerate any changes whatever except such verbal 
or unimportant alterations as may in the judgment of the 
General Conference facilitate the work in which we are en- 
gaged and to promote uniformity and harmony in our admin- 

Resolved, fifthly, That the journals of our present session, 
as well as all our official business, be henceforth conformed in 
style and title to our ecclesiastical relations. 

Resolved, sixthly, That it is our desire to cultivate and 
maintain fraternal relations with our brethren of the North; 
and we do most sincerely deprecate the continuance of paper 
warfare either by editors or correspondents in our official 


Church papers, and devoutly pray for the speedy return of 
peace and harmony in the Church, both North and South. 

The following members and probationers voted in 
the affirmative : James dimming, Samuel Patton, David 
Fleming, T. K. Catlett, E. F. Sevier, Robertson Gan- 
naway, James Atkins, Coleman Campbell, John M. 
Crismond, John M. Kelley, Conaro D. Smith, William 
Hicks, John D. Gibson, O. F. Cunningham, W. H. 
Rogers, Allen H. Mathes, Daniel B. Carter, Timothy 
Sullins, Rufus M. Stevens, R. W. Patty, Leander Wil- 
son, A. M. Goodykoontz, G. W. Alexander, Hiram 
Tarter, Samuel A. Miller, Thomas K. Munsey, Joseph 
Haskew, Jackson S. Burnett, David Adams, J. L. 
Sensibaugh, Steven W. Earnest, Ephraim E. Wiley, 
Charles W. Charlton, W. C. Daily, James R. Bellamy, 
Adonijah Williams, Andrew Gass, William G. E. Cun- 
nyngham, Silas H. Cooper, and J. C. Pendergrass. 

Probationers voting in the affirmative: Alexander 
H. Cox, Edward W. Chanceaulme, Jesse G. Swisher, 
William Robeson, Martin C. Robertson, William R. 
Long, John W. Thompson, Augustine F. Shannon, 
William Sturges, Willis Ingle, Stephen D. Adams. 

George Ekin voted in the negative and entered on 
the journal a protest against the action of the Confer- 
ence; but upon mature reflection he remained in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and continued his 
career of great usefulness to the hour of his death. 

The following resolution, introduced by David Ad- 
ams, was adopted : 

Resolved, That the Holston Annual Conference most heart- 
ily commend the course of our beloved Bishops Soule and 
Andrew during the recent agitations which have resulted in 


the territorial and jurisdictional separation of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and that we tender them our thanks for 
their steady adherence to principle and the best interests of the 
slave population. 

The Conference drew upon the Book Concern for 

The following were elected delegates to the General 
Conference to meet in Petersburg, Va., May i, 1846, 
namely: E. F. Sevier, S. Patton, T. K. Catlett, David 
Fleming, and Thomas Stringfield. Alternates: Tim- 
othy Sullins and Rufus M. Stevens. 

The following resolutions, offered by David Adams 
and adopted, will be somewhat interesting to Meth- 
odists of the present generation : 

Resolved, That we will constantly, calmly, though resolutely, 
oppose the practice of selling or renting pews in our churches, 
believing, as we do, that the practice here alluded to has a 
tendency to subvert that glorious peculiarity of our holy reli- 
gion — "The poor have the gospel preached unto them." 

Resolved, That we will not directly or indirectly tolerate 
the introduction of instrumental music as a part of worship 
in our churches, believing, as we do, that such practice is a 
preventive of the worship of God in spirit and in truth, which 
we are bound by Christ to do. 

Resolved, That although we highly esteem and will give 
our support to the prudently conducted institutions of learn- 
ing in the bounds of 'our Conference, yet we disapprove and 
will oppose any means tending to or savoring of the estab- 
lishment of a theological institute or seminary, should such a 
thing be proposed, for the benefit of the ministry of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South. 

These resolutions met with no overt opposition. 
But while the aristocratic and unpopular policy of the 
pew system has never met with favor in the Methodist 


Church in America and is contrary to the genius of 
Methodism, instrumental music is now very common 
in Methodist churches, North and South, and all op- 
position to theological schools seems to have given way. 
The Conference at this session did itself credit by a 
positive and hearty indorsement of the American Bible 

The Conference resolved upon the publication of a 
Conference organ, and Samuel Patton and Thomas 
Stringfield were elected editors. Mr. Patton was also 
appointed preacher in charge of Knoxville Station, and 
Mr. Stringfield Agent of Holston College. 

The project of establishing such a paper originated 
with Thomas Stringfield and David R. Mc Anally. The 
first number of the paper was issued May 5, 1846, 
under the title of the Methodist Episcopalian; but after 
the recognition of the paper as a Church organ by the 
General Conference of 1850, the title was changed to 
the Holston Christian Advocate. The paper continued 
to be published till the death of Dr. Patton, which oc- 
curred August 1, 1854; and at the Conference held in 
Cleveland in October of the same year the paper, with 
its assets, liabilities, and good will, was transferred to 
the Nashville Christian Advocate. 

The prospectus of the Episcopalian announced the 
motives and objects of the publication as follows : 

The necessity for a religious periodical suited to the moun- 
tainous and isolated position of the Holston Conference has 
been long and deeply felt, and the desideratum would have 
been supplied had it not been for the difficulty of sustaining 
such an enterprise. Several attempts to do so have been made, 
but they have been suffered to fail for want of adequate 
patronage. In a Conference having under its control eighty 


traveling preachers and within its bounds some thirty-five 
thousand members it is believed that not more than five hun- 
dred of our Church papers are taken. This state of things 
has had, and, if it continues to exist, must continue to have, 
a most blighting influence on the benevolent institutions and 
spiritual interests of the Methodist Episcopal Church within 
the limits of this Conference. A most devoted, self-sacrificing, 
self-denying, and laborious ministry have traversed the country 
at large and have done much to advance the cause of Christ, 
but how much more efficient would be their labors if those 
among whom they labor and toil were the constant and atten- 
tive readers of a well-conducted religious newspaper ! Would 
not the missionary cause, the cause of Sunday schools, and 
the interests of our colleges and academies be greatly promoted 
by such a paper if it were published in our midst? And will 
not our ministerial brethren and other numerous friends gen- 
erally unite with us in this effort to establish among us such a 
vehicle of useful. knowledge suited to our varied wants? They 
are cordially invited to do* so and confidently expected to 
engage in the work. We have no pecuniary interests to serve, 
and aim only to glorify God by the promotion of his cause 
among our fellow men. 

At this eventful crisis of our Church, when the separation 
of the South from the North is being so extensively spoken of, 
it is not our object to increase but to allay the excitement, 
maintaining the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace. 
Touching the doctrines and discipline of our Church, we shall 
act on the defensive and repel the assaults of our assailants 
in the spirit of the gospel. And, while items of general news 
and other intelligence herein alluded to are given, the agricul- 
tural interests of our country will not be overlooked. 

The truth is that at this time the Hopkinsian min- 
isters in East Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia 
were very bold and active in denouncing the doctrines 
and polity of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The 
doctrine of the direct witness of the Spirit as taught by" 


John Wesley and his followers was held up to ridicule 
and declared to be "unscriptural, false, fanatical, and 
of a mischievous tendency;" Methodism was charac- 
terized as "a debauched pietism," and its revivals were 
declared to be mainly exhibitions of animal excite- 
ment. In a pamphlet published about this time the 
writer, Rev. Samuel Sawyer, gave it as his opinion 
that the tumultuous excitements at Methodist camp 
meetings and other revival meetings were gotten up 
and encouraged by the preachers to cause the people to 
forget that they had lost their liberties — to forget, in 
other words, that they were living under the most 
galling slavery to a system of clerical despotism. Dr. 
Frederick A. Ross, a man of great learning, a logician 
and orator of great ability, led the attack upon Meth- 
odism. He was backed in this war by the clergy and 
papers of his own denomination and by his Synod and 
the Presbyterians thereunder. The Calvinistic Maga- 
zine, a periodical of no mean ability, contained article 
after article denouncing Arminianism and Episcopacy 
and defending the doctrines of Calvinism against the 
assaults of Methodist preachers in their pulpits, which 
assaults were not few and powerless. 

It was this controversy which, more than all else, 
suggested the publication of a Conference paper in 
Holston. A better selection than that of Dr. Patton 
could not have been made ; for he was a man of supe- 
rior ability and extensive reading, and withal eminently 
prudent and strictly conscientious. For reasons here- 
after stated, Mr. Stringfield withdrew from the enter- 
prise as junior editor before the issuance of the first 
number of the paper. The title of the paper, Meth- 


odist Episcopalian, indicated that the paper intended to 
defend and promulgate the peculiar doctrines of Meth- 
odism and to reply to attacks and denunciations of the 
episcopal form of government of the Methodist Church. 
The inauguration of the enterprise was timely, and 
right bravely did the editor and his contributors dis- 
charge their duty in this important crisis. It must be 
confessed that they did more than act on the defensive : 
they carried the war into Africa. Dr. Ross met his 
Waterloo at Glade Spring, Va., when he debated with 
Charles Collins, the young but puissant President of 
Emory and Henry College. Brownlow entered the ring 
about this time, and he struck below the belt. He 
spared no assaults on the personal character of Dr. 
Ross and no amount of badinage and ridicule which 
he thought necessary to victory. For two or three years 
Brownlow's "Review of Frederick A. Ross" was widely 
circulated and read by friend and foe. However, this 
style of controversy was inaugurated by Brownlow at 
his own instance. Patton and other ministers con- 
ducted the war on a higher plane, and the amount of 
good accomplished by the little Holston sheet for 
Methodism in particular and for the cause of right- 
eousness in general can hardly be estimated. I have- 
forgotten to say that Ross and his coadjutors were not 
the only enemies confronting the Holston Methodists 
at that time. Encouraged by the seeming prospect of 
the demolition of Methodism by Dr. Ross, Dr. J. R. 
Graves, a Baptist minister of great learning and ability, 
entered the field, and in a book entitled "The Great 
Iron Wheel" he essayed to bring the Methodist Church, 
especially its episcopal form of government, into dis- 


repute in the eyes of the public. To this book Brown- 
low replied in a book entitled "The Great Iron Wheel 
Examined," etc; but the principal defender of Meth- 
odism in these days of controversy was the Methodist 
Episcopalian and its successor, the Holston Christian 
Advocate. It bristled with arguments and roared with 
theological thunder. 

Admitted on trial: George K. Snapp, William D. Snapp, 
Rufus M. Hickey, John AHey, Robert A. Young, Carroll Long, 
J. B. Lawson, Rufus M. Whaley, Robert W. Pickens, John H. 
H. Young, Crockett Godbey, Andrew C. Hunter, J. W. Miller, 
William Milburn. 

Readmitted : Miles Foy, Ulrich Keener, Samuel B. Harwell, 
John L. Fowler, John C. Gaston. 

Located : Hugh Johnson, Gabriel F. Page, Alexander N. 
Harris, Solomon Pope, Leander Wilson. 

Discontinued: Benjamin Morgan, Enos D. Shields, Samuel 

Superannuated : J. B. Daughtry, John Bowman, James 
Dixon, Wiley B. Winton, Thomas Wilkerson, James dimming, 
Eli K. Hutsell. 

Numbers in society: White, 34,705; colored, 3,455; Indian, 
155. Total, 38,315. Decrease, 1,164. Local preachers, 322. 
Traveling preachers, 97. Missionary collections, $1,043.58. 

The influx of twelve new recruits and five readmis- 
sions at this Conference (1845) was quite an addition 
to the pastoral force of the Conference, and this un- 
usual sign of life was probably the result of sympathy 
with the new organization of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South. 

Mention should have been made of David Ring in 
Volume III. He was admitted on trial in 1834, and 
located in 1844. He was a son of George and Kath- 
erine Ring, was born in North Carolina, and died in 


Haywood County, N. C, September 8, 1845. He was 
never married. His father and family came .to Gray- 
son County, Va., some time before David entered the 
ministry. Mr. Ring's first appointment was to Cher- 
okee Mission as junior preacher under David dim- 
ming. He had a stentorian voice," was a good singer, 
was eloquent, and was quite a revivalist. 

Gabriel F. Page was born on James River, in Am- 
herst County, Va., November 3, 1809, an d was reared 
on a farm.. He died of heart disease at his home, near 
the mouth of Nollichucky River, June 20, 1881. He 
was admitted on trial in the Holston Conference in 
1836, and located in 1845. His circuits were Asheville, 
Abingdon, Lebanon, Greene, Rogersville, and New- 
port. He was one year Agent, with Creed Fulton, of 
Emory and Henry College. 

On his first work, Asheville, Mr. Page met Miss 
Matilda Frances Jones, daughter of Col. George W. 
Jones, of Henderson County, N. C, who afterwards 
became his wife. She was born in Buncombe County, 
N. C, seven miles from Asheville, June 17, 1818; and 
died June 18, 1903. She was educated in Asheville. 
She was married to Mr. Page by Rev. John Reynolds 
December 25, 1838. While in the local ranks Mr. 
Page had an appointment for every Sabbath in the 
month, except the Sabbath on which his pastor preached 
at his home church. No preacher was more scrupulous 
than he in keeping the Sabbath day holy. While in the 
regular work he cheerfully took collections for all 
Church purposes except for his own salary, and he nev- 
er asked his stewards for that. Here he made a mis- 
take; he was a little too disinterested; accordingly he 


traveled the Newport Circuit one year, and received 
only forty dollars ! Of this, however, he did not com- 
plain. He always cultivated in corn, hay, and oats the 
ground that belonged to the parsonage he occupied, and 
always left what remained of the year's crops to his 
successor and would not take remuneration for it. 

Mr. Page was a serious, earnest man. He never 
indulged in jesting or frivolous conversation of any 
kind. He was a man of strong will and strong preju- 
dices. He was intense at the sacrifice of breadth. He 
was no straddler; you always found him on one side 
or the other of the fence. He was a fluent and incisive 
preacher. He made no compromises with the world. 
He was honest in his dealings, and demanded honesty 
of those who dealt with him. He was a strong South- 
ern man, and found it necessary to refugee during the 
Civil War, and he refugeed in Virginia, where he re- 
mained some months after the close of the war. Be- 
fore he left home the bushwhackers would come to his 
window at night and snap their pistols at him while he 
was reading. The day after he left home they came 
with ropes to hang him. 

After the war Mr. Page was sued for damages by 
Union men, who hoped thereby to get possession of his 
excellent farm; but his enemies, finding that their 
chances in the courts were not encouraging, sent him 
word in Virginia, agreeing to take a very small amount 
from him for their claims. His reply was character- 
istic : "Not a cent." 

Mr. Page heartily believed in the old-time religion, 
and could not tolerate instrumental music in a church. 
Once he went to Newport to attend a District Confer- 


ence, but, hearing the organ as he approached the 
church, he mounted his horse again and started home. 
Some one said to him : "Why, Brother Page, I thought 
that you had come to attend the District Conference." 
He replied, "But I didn't know that they had the devil 
in the church till I got here ;" and he returned home. 

In using tjie marriage ceremony Mr. Page always 
omitted the word "obey" — an evidence of his gallantry. 
A strong, stalwart man in body, he was industrious as 
a traveling preacher, preached often as a local preacher, 
and labored with his own hands on his farm. 

In a letter to the author, Dr. John H. B runner says : 

My first acquaintance with this energetic minister occurred 
in the fall of 1841, when he was sent to take charge of the 
Greeneville Circuit. . . . He urged me to enter Emory and 
Henry College, and offered me a claim of $96 which he had 
against the college if I would go. Circumstances seemed to 
forbid my doing so. . . . Bold, decisive, and, in a measure, 
unrelenting, he had enemies and hosts of devoted friends. I 
knew him long and well. He was as true as steel. Before he 
joined the Conference, he taught a school at Bat Creek, Monroe 
County, Tenn. My wife, then a small girl, was one of his 
pupils. He boarded at her father's, and took a special delight 
in her little brother Isaac. After the school closed, little Isaac 
sickened and died. Mr. Page did not hear of this till some one 
told him of it in the Conference room. He burst into tears 
and buried his face in grief. There was no half-heartedness 
in Mr. Page. 

Mrs. Page was a woman of strictly religious habits. 
Hers was a life of prayer. She read her Bible daily, 
prayed in public, and talked in experience meetings. 
She died of cancer. She suffered much before she 
died, but the severer her suffering the stronger was 
her faith and the brighter were her hopes. 


Mr. Page and wife had six children, four now liv- 
ing: Mrs. Virginia F. Hawkins; Edward J. Page, 
M.D., Oakland, Oregon; Mrs. Matilda G. Faubion, 
Marble Falls, Tex. ; and Mrs. C. M. Talley, of Lead- 
vale, Tenn. 

Alexander Nelson Harris, who located this year, 
was born at the old Harris homestead, three miles 
southeast of Jonesboro, June, 1816; and died near 
Kingston, Ga., November 6, 1865. He was the eighth 
child of Rev. Dr. John C. Harris and Sarah Reagan 
Harris, his wife. He was educated at New Market, 
Tenn., in Holston College. He did not graduate. His 
father was a Methodist preacher and also a practicing 
physician. His mother was a kinswoman of Judge 
John H. Reagan, Postmaster General in the cabinet of 
Jefferson Davis. He was born in the Church, so to 
speak, and probably never formally joined the same, 
his father having put his name on the books while he 
was an infant. He professed religion in early child- 
hood. None of his brothers and sisters ever knew 
when he was not a professor of religion. 

Dr. Harris joined the Holston Conference in 1836, 
and traveled until 1845, when he located. His first 
circuit was Reems Creek, in Buncombe County, N. C. 
After locating, he married Edna R. Haynes, daughter 
of David and Rhoda Haynes, and sister of Landon C. 
Haynes, who during the Civil War was a Confederate 
Senator and, by the way, a distinguished orator. The 
marriage took place in 1845. He studied medicine, 
began the practice in 1847, an d continued in this 
profession until the time of his death. 

Dr. Harris was an original secessionist, and was a 


candidate for the convention in the first election held 
in Tennessee on this question, running on the secession 
platform in Washington County, and was defeated. 
He spoke at many places in Upper East Tennessee in 
favor of the State's taking position with the rest of the 
Southern States, and met in debate Andrew Johnson 
and other East Tennessee Unionists. On one occa- 
sion, at Jonesboro, Tenn., when Mr. Johnson, who was 
opening the debate, began to speak, an angry mob at- 
tacked him in order to prevent his speaking. Dr. Har- 
ris immediately threw himself between the mob and 
Mr. Johnson, putting his arms around him and say- 
ing: "You must kill me before you kill him." The 
mob then desisted, but Mr. Johnson did not speak at 
that time. Several pistols were pointed at Mr. John- 
son's breast, and it was believed that Dr. Harris saved 
his life. He always enjoyed Mr. Johnson's respect and 
gratitude after this event. 

Dr. Harris was rated as a very eloquent speaker. 
An old gentleman who had heard him often said after 
his death that he was the most eloquent speaker he 
had ever heard ; that it seemed to him that he had only 
to open his mouth and his words would tear up the 
earth in front of him. On one occasion, after deliv- 
ering a strong and vigorous address on the issues of 
the war in the courthouse at Jonesboro, early in 1861, 
he closed with an eloquent appeal to his audience, 
apparently throwing all his soul into his words ; and so 
great was the effect of his eloquence that the people 
rose from their seats and, rushing forward to the stand, 
took him upon their shoulders and carried him into the 
streets of the town with shouts and tears. 


Col. N. G. Taylor used to describe a camp meeting 
scene in which Dr. Harris was the leading actor. It 
was at a camp meeting in Upper East Tennessee. Dr. 
Harris very seldom addressed a congregation without 
creating some "arousement." Mrs. Taylor, who after- 
wards became his sister-in-law, had heard of this, and 
laughingly remarked that she did not believe in shout- 
ing and that he could not make her shout. She went to 
the meeting the evening following this remark and sat 
about halfway up the aisle. After the preacher had 
been talking for a while, he warmed up with his sub- 
ject, and his earnestness became so great that the au- 
dience were overwhelmed and rose from their seats 
shouting almost en masse; and among them was Mrs. 
Taylor, who made as much noise as any of them and 
was as deeply in earnest. She used afterwards to 
refer to the occasion as a time when she lost her head. 

Rev. Henry P. Wa'ugh wrote a tribute to Dr. Harris, 
which was published in the Nashville Christian Advo- 
cate sometime after his death. In this tribute he stated 
that three persons, who afterwards became brothers-in- 
law, were licensed .to preach at the same Quarterly 
Conference at a little schoolhouse northwest of Jones- 
boro. They were, he said, Landon C. Haynes, Na- 
thaniel G. Naylor, and Alexander N. Harris. He 
said that all became great speakers and achieved much 
reputation ; but after all, he thought that for fiery and 
impassioned oratory Dr. Harris was the best of the 

In my earlier ministry I often heard Dr. Harris 
spoken of as an excellent man and eloquent preacher. 
He and his brother-in-law, N. G. Taylor, often held 


meetings together. They frequently went to camp 
meetings, and their superb preaching generally gave 
them the popular hours. Their hearers on such oc- 
casions were usually divided in opinion as to which 
was the greater preacher of the two. Mr. Taylor was 
the more diffuse and grandiloquent of the two, though 
not without passion and spiritual power; while Dr. 
Harris was more terse, more pointed, and more impet- 
uous. Taylor was the Cicero ; Harris the Demosthenes. 
I hope my readers will not think that I am exaggerating 
when I thus speak of these men, for they were both 
men of amazing oratorical ability. They both com- 
pared favorably with Landon C. Haynes, whom Charles 
Collins once pronounced the finest declaimer he had 
ever heard. Men need not be surprised at the achieve- 
ments on the stump and platform of Senator Robert 
L. Taylor when they learn that Taylor and Haynes 
blood mingled in his veins. 

Dr. Harris aided in raising and equipping several 
regiments for the Confederate Army, going through 
the counties of Upper East Tennessee for this purpose. 
He was finally offered, and accepted, the position of 
Chief Surgeon of Crawford's regiment in General 
Vaughan's brigade of soldiers raised in East Tennes- 
see. He went to Vicksburg with the regiment, but 
resigned before the close of the war. After the sur- 
render he was indicted in the Federal and State courts 
for treason. The condition of the country became such 
that he could not live in East Tennessee, and thought 
it best to go farther South. Accordingly, about the 
latter part of September, 1865, he went to Georgia, 
journeying on horseback through the country. His 

3 ; 


heart almost breaking over the ruin of his hopes, the 
loss and destruction of his property, and his exile from 
his family, he was attacked with fever at the home of 
his nephews, MacDonough and James Harris, and, 
after lingering some weeks, died in the presence of 
his family, who had joined him. He continued to 
preach as occasion offered up to the hour of his sick- 
ness, and while'in Georgia he is said to have preached 
some of the best sermons of his life. 

One trait of Dr. Harris's character I have failed to 
mention : his benevolence. He literally gave away all 
his earnings, saving only enough to keep his family 
from suffering. Once in time of scarcity Mrs. Harris 
locked the crib, that he might not give away his last 
bushel of corn ; but he had his servants to open the roof 
and to divide with a poor applicant for relief. 

I find that I have failed to give a notice of Russell 
Reneau, who joined the Holston Conference in 1837 
and transferred to the Georgia Conference in 1844. 
His first appointment was Jonesboro Circuit ; after that 
he traveled Greene, La Fayette, and Cleveland Circuits, 
two years on each, the limit of the law. In those days 
of change, the fact that he served a full term on each 
of the three charges is an indication of his acceptability 
to the people. 

Mr. Reneau was robust in body and mind. Made of 
granite, he did not bear the polish of marble. His 
talents put him into some of the best positions in Geor- 
gia and secured for him recognition and tolerance in 
refined circles in spite of a little curtness and rudeness 
on his part. 

Rev. W. G. Scott, in the Wesleyan Advocate of 
October 26. 1892, writes of Mr. Reneau as follows: 


Russell Reneau was by birth and breeding an East Tennes- 
seean. Like very many of his fellow countrymen of that Swit- 
zerland of America, he was of stalwart build, both physically 
and intellectually. His early school advantages were fair, and 
these were made the basis of much reading and reflection in 
after years. He was in middle life when he was transferred 
from the Holston to the Georgia Conference, and entered at 
once on district work in the mountainous section of the State. 
While he was but little known at his coming, it was not long 
until he secured recognition as a vigorous thinker, especially 
on the line of a doctrinal preacher. 

Forty years ago East Tennessee was an excellent training 
school for polemical theology. The Baptists and Presbyterians 
were both eager disputants, and the Methodist itinerants were 
not reluctant to accept the gauge of battle. Russell Reneau 
exhibited special gifts for disputation and was frequently 
brought forward as a defender of the faith. Almost invariably 
he routed his adversary. 

Soon after his arrival in Georgia he was engaged in a public 
discussion with C. F. Shehanee, a Universalist preacher of 
considerable celebrity. Not a great while before the contro- 
versy I dined with Brother Reneau in Atlanta. I remarked to 
him that Shehanee — whom I had personally and intimately 
known when he figured as a Bible Christian — was an adroit 
debater, and he would seek to draw him into a criticism of 
Greek terms and Hebrew roots. I shall never forget his broad 
smile as he replied: "Never be uneasy, Brother Scott. I 
promise you to make him thoroughly sick of his Greek and 
Hebrew before I am through with him." 

Reneau's friends claimed that in the debate which followed 
Shehanee, to borrow a slang phrase of the prize ring, was 
"severely punished." Whether any real good came of the 
contest is exceedingly questionable, but it produced almost as 
great a sensation as the "Great Iron Wheel" controversy be- 
tween Graves and Brownlow. 

Let it not be inferred that this controversial trend of 
Brother Reneau's mind unfitted him for general pulpit useful- 


ness. As a preacher on the evidences and cardinal doctrines of 
Christianity he was surpassed by few of his generation. 

Unluckily for himself, however, and for the Church, he 
drifted into journalism, and at a later period into curious 
speculations about Second Adventism. Shortly after this new 
departure he took Greeley's advice and went West, where he 
died, I believe, in the presiding eldership. 

Under a rough exterior he carried a heart as generous as 
ever throbbed in a human breast. His charity was as broad 
as humanity ; but never, at any time or anywhere, was he will- 
ing to compromise with religious or political error. 

One of his strangest fancies was the writing and publication 
of a volume which he named "The Reign of Satan." It was 
certainly a dolorous picture of the times, and would have 
satisfied the inmost soul of Schopenhaur, the high priest of 
pessimism. It is long since out of print, nor is its ghost even 
likely "to revisit the pale glimpses of the moon." 

This much deserves, in conclusion, to be said of him: that 
all through his arduous wayfaring of sixty-odd years he never 
shrank from any peril or hardship that confronted him in the 
path of duty. He died as he had lived, a stanch Methodist in 
his religion and a typical Whig in his politics. 

The Conference of 1846 — Twenty-Third Session. 

The Conference met in its twenty-third session in 
Wytheville, Va., October 21, 1846, Bishop William 
Capers presiding. The Bishop opened the Conference 
with a prayer meeting. C. D. Smith was chosen Sec- 

Robert A. Young, a young preacher on trial, was 
discontinued. Before this chapter closes I shall give 
a sketch of this remarkable man. 

The committee on the Methodist Episcopalian made 
the following report, and it was adopted : 

The committee to whom was referred the interests of the 
Methodist Episcopalian respectfully report that, having had the 
subject under mature deliberation, they have arrivtd at the 
following conclusions : First, that there is a strong and in- 
creasing necessity* for the publication of the paper; secondly, 
that the committee appointed by the Conference at its last 
session to commence its publication acted in conformity with 
the wishes and interests of the Conference and in accordance 
with the wishes of our people and friends in commencing its 
publication at the time they did; thirdly, that the friends and 
patrons of the paper are well pleased with the manner in which 
it has been conducted; fourthly, that it ought to be continued 
and steadily and efficiently sustained ; -fifthly, that the interests 
of the paper require the undivided attention and service of a 
resident editor; sixthly, that there should be a committee 
appointed by this Conference, of which the editor should be 
chairman, whose powers and duty should be commensurate 
with a general superintendence of the whole concern, subject 
to any action this Conference may think proper to take on this 
subject at its annual sessions; seventhly, that each preacher 




or agent should be required to pay the usual price for his 
paper, but allowed ten per cent on all moneys collected for 
the paper and forwarded free of postage to the chairman of 
the Publishing Committee — this to take effect from and after 
the commencement of the second volume; eighthly, that this 
Conference should not only be considered bound as a Confer- 


ence to sustain all the pecuniary responsibilities connected 
with the publication of the paper, but that the members of this 
body, severally and individually, should be considered as 
bound to sustain each his share of any losses that might be 
incurred during the publication of the first and second volumes, 
as well as to participate in the immunities which may accrue 
during the same period, it being distinctly understood that 


those of the Conference who do not pledge themselves thus 
shall not share in the profits or proceeds of the paper, should 
there be any, further than the ten per cent on moneys collected. 

Your Committee on Examination into the financial interests 
of the Episcopalian are happy to report that the paper has 
been published with the strictest economy and may continue 
thus. Your committee recommend to the Conference the 
appropriation to Rev. S. Patton of one hundred dollars for 
editorial services the past six months out of any moneys be- 
longing to the paper not otherwise appropriated. 

Your committee recommend to your body respectfully to 
request the presiding bishop to appoint Rev. S. Patton editor 
for the ensuing year. Your committee recommend that the 
report of the Publishing Committee referred to this committee, 
together with any reports which may be adopted by the pres- 
ent or subsequent sessions of this Conference, be committed 
to permanent record on your journal, that reference may be 
had to them in the future as to the origin and history of our 

All of which is respectfully submitted. 

E. F. Sevier, Chairman; 
T. Stringfield, 
C. Collins. 

October 24, 1846. 

On the eighth item of this report sixty-two names 
were recorded in the affirmative, the men thus binding 
themselves individually and personally for the liabil- 
ities incurred in the publication of the first two volumes 
of the paper. That was heroism, that was honesty; 
and that, too, when the salary of a preacher was fixed 
at one hundred dollars and table expenses. Also it 
will be seen that the editor was allowed only one hun- 
dred dollars for the six months he had labored on the 
paper. This was very small compensation for the 
amount and quality of labor which he had put upon 


the paper when we remember that Knoxville at that 
time was a considerable town and that living there was 
more expensive than in the country. But the style of 
living in that day was quite simple, and the wants of a 
family were, comparatively few. Besides, a dollar at 
that time would, perhaps, purchase as many comforts 
as two dollars now. 

The committee on the Episcopalian appointed in 
1845 reported that the proposal to publish a Conference 
paper had met with general favor among the people 
of the Church ; that early in the winter the returns of 
the names of subscribers were sufficient, in the judg- 
ment of the committee, to justify them in. contracting 
with Messrs. H. and J. E. Barry for the publication of 
the paper; that after various delays, the principal of 
which was a failure in the prompt arrival of the type 
which had been ordered, the first number was issued in 
the first week in May, 1846, since which time the paper 
had been issued regularly once a week ; that the Messrs. 
Barry were in the contract bound to furnish a printing 
office with all necessary fixtures, and to issue in work- 
manlike style an imperial sheet once a week, to dis- 
tribute the paper to the town subscribers, and to mail 
all the copies which had to pass through the post office. 
The committee was bound to furnish printing and 
wrapping paper and literary matter and to pay the said 
Messrs. Barry one thousand dollars for printing, mail- 
ing, and distributing eight hundred copies and to pay 
for the press work, mailing, and distribution of any 
additional number of copies which might be called for. 
Also the Messrs. Barry agreed to discount with the 
committee one hundred and fifty dollars for the use of 


three columns of the paper for advertisements to inure 
to their own benefit, provided always that no advertise- 
ments should be admitted which were inconsistent with 
the character of the paper. Payments were to be made 
to the publishers in four quarterly installments. The 
committee furthermore stated that soon after the last 
session of the Conference Mr. Stringfield was appoint- 
ed Agent for the American Bible Society, and that he 
withdrew his name from the prospectus soon after its 

The financial condition of the paper as reported by 
the committee was quite encouraging. The whole 
amount of the receipts was $1,011.27. The whole 
amount of expenditures was $770.50. The balance of 
cash on hand was $240.77. The number of copies 
issued weekly was 1,150, of which about 150 were 
complimented to agents, bishops, preachers, and ex- 
changes. This report was signed by S. Patton and R. 
M. Stevens, the name of Timothy Sullins being omit-* 
ted on account of his sickness at the time. 

The Publishing Committee for the following year 
consisted of Revs. R. M. Stevens, Miles Foy, and 
Mr. Henry Ault. 

Visiting committees were appointed to the East Ten- 
nessee Female Institute, Holston College, and Emory 
and Henry College. The following were the gentle- 
men appointed to the East Tennessee Female Institute : 
Hon. Luke Lea, Robert H. Hynds, Esq., S. Patton, 
Dr. James J. H. Ramsey, Hon. W. B. Reese, Col. John 
Williams, and J. M. Welker, Esq. I name this list 
especially because it shows that the Conference had 
adopted the wise policy of utilizing, in connection with 


its educational enterprises, the judgment and influence 
of laymen and, indeed, men of the world. 

Thomas Stringfield, with his eye always open to the 
educational interests of the Church, introduced a reso- 
lution, which was adopted, requesting the trustees and 
faculty of Emory and Henry College to inquire into 
the possibility of some arrangement for the education 
at the college of the sons of the preachers of the Con- 
ference, free of board and tuition. I can say at this 
date that no provision in the college for free "board to 
preachers' sons has ever been made, but the provision 
was made sometime after the adoption of this resolu- 
tion for free tuition to preachers' sons. This has been 
the practice of the college almost from the beginning. 
This discount to the preachers is certainly just, be- 
cause they have always been active agents of the in- 
stitution; and it is certainly wise, because it endears 
the preachers to the institution, and without their 
moral support it is not likely that it could have main- 
tained its existence and usefulness. 

Admitted on trial: William M. Kerr, William Jones, Lar- 
kin W. Crouch, Randolph D. Wells, William H. Bates, James 

A. Reagan, James N. S. Huffaker, William W. Neal, W. T. 

Readmitted : Leander Wilson. 

Located: Benjamin F. Wells, John C. Gaston, John D. 

Discontinued : Robert A. Young. 

Superannuated : Josiah B. Daughtry, John Bowman, Wiley 

B. Winton, Thomas Wilkerson, James Cumming, Eli K. Hut- 
sell, James Dixon. 

Numbers in society: White, 34,002; colored, 4,069; Indian, 
108. Total, 38,179. Decrease, 136. 

Local preachers, 310; traveling preachers, 96. 


Collected for superannuates, etc., $177-57 ; how appropriated, 
no report. For .missions, $1,280.54. For Sunday school books, 
$864.50. For the publication of Bibles, $60. 

John D. Gibson was, no doubt, a good man when he 
joined the Conference and while he remained in it; 
but he seems to have been seized with a desire to make 
money. Accordingly, he located and went into the mer- 
cantile business. In this business he was very energetic ; 
but for some reason he failed, and while acting as an 
auctioneer in Knoxville he drank poison through mis- 
take and died bankrupt in money and character. 

That distinguished man, Robert Anderson Young, 
was a Holston man. He was born in Knox County, 
Tenn., January 23, 1824. His grandfather, Henry 
Young, was an Englishman, who came to America in 
the latter part of the eighteenth century, landing at 
Baltimore. He was in affluent circumstances and gave 
his children the best educational advantages afforded 
in this country at that period. Captain John C. Young, 
father of Robert A., was born in Orange County, N. 
C, and educated at Chapel Hill University. After 
graduation he served as a captain in the United States 
army under Gen. Andrew Jackson. Later he retired 
from the army and located in Knox County, Tenn., 
where he farmed up to the time of his death, in 183 1. 
Dr. Young's mother was a daughter of John Hyder, a 
prosperous farmer of Carter County, Tenn. She was 
a woman of strong character and deep piety. On his 
sixteenth birthday she "set him free," telling him, as 
he was preparing to leave home, that she had no anx- 
iety as to his conduct. Fifty years later, just before 
her death, she said to him: "Robert, I have never had 


one moment's anxiety about you since the day I set 
you free." 

Dr. Young was converted in August, 1842 ; and in the 
following December entered Washington College, from 
which institution he graduated in 1844. After his 
graduation he began to study medicine, but from early 
childhood he was haunted by an impression that it 
would be his duty to preach the gospel. About this 
time this impression deepened into a positive convic- 
tion, and he applied in a class of twelve for admission 
on trial into the Holston Conference in 1845, an d was 
admitted and appointed to Dandridge Circuit. He 
seems to have been persuaded by Dr. A. L. P. Green 
to go West; and accordingly, toward the close of the 
Conference year, he left his circuit and went to Middle 
Tennessee. He was admitted on trial into the Tennes- 
see Conference in 1848. As to how he spent this in- 
terim of two years, I am not informed. From this 
time forward he does not strictly belong to Holston 
history. His first work in the Tennessee Conference 
was at the Cumberland Iron Works, which charge he 
served two years, and during this pastoral term he 
received from Jackson College the degree of Master 
of Arts. He served some of the most responsible 
charges in the Tennessee and St. Louis Conferences. 
He declined the presidency of Huntsville Female Col- 
lege. In 1853 ne was transferred to the St. Louis 
Conference and stationed at First Church in St. Louis. 
In this Conference he spent seven years, but was re- 
transferred to the Tennessee Conference in i860. In 
1861 he accepted the presidency of Florence University, 
Alabama, which position he held three years. In 1874 


he was elected Financial Secretary of Vanderbilt Uni- 
versity. In 1882 the General Conference elected him 
Secretary of the Board of Missions. At the close of 
his term he traveled in the East. He was six times a 
delegate to the General Conference. He was Secretary 
of the Tennessee Conference twenty consecutive ses- 
sions. He was for twenty-eight years Secretary of 
the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt University. He was 
for twenty-eight years a member of the Book Com- 
mittee and for many years its chairman. For several 
years before his death he was Regent of Belmont Col- 
lege, in Nashville. Dr. Young was twice married, first 
in June, 1847, to Miss Mary A. Kimmer, who died in 
1879. His second wife was Mrs. Anna Green Hunter, 
youngest daughter of Dr. A. L. P. Green. Both of his 
marriages were happy. He died in Nashville, Tenn., 
February 7, 1902. He died after a brief illness. Be- 
fore the surgical operation to which he submitted, and 
after which he did not recover consciousness, he talked 
freely with his wife and expressed his unshaken faith 
in Christ and his readiness to depart and be with him. 

His notice in the General Minutes says: "As a 
preacher he was clear, forceful, and commanding. In 
pastoral work he was wise and diligent and showed all 
the qualities of a true leader." 

Dr. Young was a tall son of Anak, six feet and seven 
inches high. His hair was dark and straight, for he 
had a little Cherokee blood in his veins. He had a 
benevolent face and a pleasing manner. He had as 
noble a heart as ever beat in the bosom of a man. 
Possessing a prodigious memory and being an omniv- 
orous reader and a close observer, he. always wrote and 


spoke from a full mind. He was not possessed of spe- 
cial powers of analysis as a preacher, but his powers 
of illustration were wonderful. He drew illustrations 
from history and all departments of science and liter- 
ature. He had a strong but musical voice, and he 
spoke readily and fluently. His arguments were of 
the popular kind, such as appeal to the common sense 
of the masses. He did not dabble in metaphysics or 
• theological speculations. Seeing the truth by intuition, 
he drove straight to it; and when he warmed up with 
his discussion, he spoke with power and impetuosity. 
He was a man that loved his fellow man, and his per- 
sonality was surrounded by an aura which made good 
men and women feel that in his company they were in 
the company of a friend. He breathed at all times the 
atmosphere of love. He was one of the great men of 
the Church, and he would have made an admirable 
bishop. As a business man he was systematic, exact, 
and careful. He had a pride in doing thoroughly ev- 
erything he undertook; hence he was always in de- 
mand, hence the responsible offices which were thrust 
upon him from time to time. He was a racy writer. 
He was the author of several works — one or more of 
travel. One of his books, entitled "Personages," was 
a collection of articles originally written by him for the 
Home Circle headed "Characters I Have Taken a Pen 
To." I remember reading these articles as they ap- 
peared in the magazine. They were personal sketches 
of remarkable men and women with whom he had 
come in contact, and these etchings were the work of 
an artist, fair, kindly, lifelike. They showed that Dr. 
Young knew people. Tn his books of travel he did 


not content himself, like Bayard Taylor, with mere 
telltale descriptions of what he saw on the surface. 
He associated the historical events of the world with 
what he saw, and strange to say, although the articles 
were written as he traveled without books to refer to 
for names and dates, he found when he came home that 
he had made no mistake regarding names and dates. 

William Capers, D.D., was born in South Carolina 
January 26, 1790. He was educated in South Carolina 
College, but, leaving before graduation, he began the 
study of law. He was admitted into the South Carolina 
Conference in 1808; and after traveling seven years, 
he located. He was readmitted in 18 18. He was a 
delegate to the General Conference of 1820. In 1828 
he was sent as a fraternal messenger of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church to the British Conference. In 1835 
he was elected to the chair of the Evidences of Chris- 
tianity in Columbia College, South Carolina. But the 
atmosphere of the institution was not very congenial 
to a Methodist preacher. Persons in the institution 
and in the community not at all partial to Methodism 
were wont to speak of Professor Capers as Professor 
of Religion in the College ! Fortunately a more con- 
genial position was soon offered him: the General 
Conference of 1836 elected him editor of the Southern 
Christian Advocate. In 1840 he was elected Missionary 
Secretary. He was a member of the General Confer- 
ence of 1844 and took part in the debates of that body. 
He was a member of the Louisville Convention of 1845. 
At the General Conference of 1846 he was elected a 
bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He 
died in Anderson, S. C, January 29, 1855. 


Bishop Simpson says: "Bishop Capers was gentle 
and amiable both in appearance and fact, and was a 
smooth and eloquent speaker. As a bishop he was 
careful, prudent, and dignified, and he faithfully dis- 
charged his duties both to the ministers and the 
Church." 1 

Bishop Capers presided at the Conference at which 
I was received on trial, and also at the Conference at 
which I was ordained deacon, so that I had an oppor- 
tunity to photograph the man on mind and memory. 
He was truly a great man. His manners were those 
of a well-bred gentleman ; his style as a conversational- 
ist and preacher was that of a man of liberal education. 
His appearance was patriarchal, reminding one of a 
Wesley or a Washington. As to his appearance and 
manner I have him constantly associated in my mind 
with Judge Benjamin Estille, of Virginia, whom I 
knew and admired in my youth. 

I have read the life of Bishop Capers by Bishop 
Wightman. Wightman was a man of learning. In this 
biography he says that Capers was not a bookish man. 
The latter half of the book is autobiographical, and 
one cannot but observe the difference between the scho- 
lastic style of Bishop Wightman and the simple, nat- 
ural style of Bishop Capers. The two styles present 
an interesting contrast between art and nature, with 
the advantage on the side of nature; for "a touch of 
nature makes us all akin." In his sermons Bishop 
Capers exhibited the same naturalness of style, to- 
gether with great resources of illustration and with 
melting unction. 

1 Simpson's "Cyclopedia of Methodism," p. 165. 


Conferences of 1847, 1848, and 1849 — Twenty* 
Fourth, Twenty- Fifth, and Twenty-Sixth 


The twenty-fourth session of the Conference was 
held in Jonesboro, Tenn., beginning October 20, 1847. 
Bishop Andrew not being present on the first day, 
Elbert F. Sevier was elected President pro tern. Conaro 
D. Smith was elected Secretary, and W. G. E. Cun- 
nyngham Assistant Secretary. 

A special committee was appointed to ascertain the 
amount due the Conference as dividends from the 
Book Concern at New York and the Chartered Fund 
at Philadelphia, and to inquire into the propriety and 
practicability of adopting measures to secure those 
dividends. The committee consisted of Samuel Pat- 
ton, Thomas Stringfield, and Elbert F. Sevier. Also a 
committee was appointed on the Southern Book Con- 
cern, and it consisted of George W. Alexander, Charles 
W. Charlton, and Leander Wilson. 

Bishop Andrew took his seat on the second day. 

The following entry in the Minutes I do not try to 
explain : 

On motion of the stewards the Conference drew upon the 
office of the Nashville Christian Advocate for fifty dollars. 

Resolutions indorsing the faithfulness and efficiency 
of Thomas Stringfield as Agent of the American Bible 
Society were adopted. This indorsement was suggest- 
ed by certain disingenuous efforts that had been made 
4 (49) 


during the year to discredit him with that society. It 
was announced that John Bowman had died during the 
year. A brief sketch of this veteran may be found in 
Volume II. of this work. Bowman was a plain, blunt 
man, strictly honest, a man of prayer and fidelity to 
his calling. He was a disciplinarian of the old school, 
believing that it was better for an unfruitful branch to 
be cut off than to be allowed to rot off. He lacked the , 
fluency and passion of the orator, but his sermons were 
thoughtful and pointed. He was a careful financier, 
and left some bequests for benevolent purposes. 

'In a committee of the whole the Conference organ- 
ized itself into a Bible Society. 

The Committee on Dividends of the Book Concern 
and Chartered Fund reported that sixteen hundred 
dollars from the Book Concern and one hundred and 
fifty dollars from the Chartered Fund was due to the 
Conference for the past three years, and appointed a 
committee to correspond with the Book Agents of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church and the Manager of the 
Chartered Fund for the purpose of securing these dues. 
These claims were based upon the provision in the 
Plan of Separation, that in case of the establishment 
of an independent connection by the Southern Confer- 
ences dividends should be paid to them as heretofore 
until the details of the Plan should be finally adjusted. 
Accordingly the Conference drew for these amounts; 
but the drafts were not honored, and the Holston Con- 
ference, together with the other Southern Conferences, 
was compelled to provide as well as it could for its 
superannuates and its widows and orphans, and to 
await the decision of the Supreme Court of the United 

CONFERENCES OF 1847, 1848, AND 1849. 5 1 

States in regard to the division of the property of the 
original Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Admitted on trial: John H. Brunner, John M. McTeer, 
James T. Smith, Joseph H. Peck, George W. Rehfro, Calvin 
W. Bewley, Samuel D. Gaines, Richard A. Claughton, Edward 
E. Gillenwaters. 

Readmitted : Philip Anderson. 

Located: Micajah Southard, Samuel A. Miller, Amos B. 
Broyles, John L. Sensibaugh. 

Discontinued : John H. H. Young. 

Superannuated : Josiah B. Daughtry, James Cumming, Wiley 
B. Winton, Thomas Wilkerson, Eli K. Hutsell, James Dixon, 
William C. Graves, Oscar F. Cunningham. 

Died: John Bowman. 

Transferred to the Missouri Conference : A. H. Mathes. 

Numbers in society: White, 34,346; colored, 3,917. Total, 
38,263. Increase, 84. 

Local preachers, 333 ; traveling preachers, 102. 

Collected for superannuates, etc., $297.39. Appropriated to 
the bishops, $170; to Conference claimants, $167.39. 

Collected for missions, $1,138.07; for Sunday schools, $813.- 
32; for Bibles, $721. 

The figures of the Journal add up for missions 
$1,290.10, a discrepancy of $152.03. 

Allen Harvey Mathes, A.M., was born in Washing- 
ton County, Tenn., June 2, 1802, near Washington 
College, from which institution he graduated in 1822. 
At that time Rev. Samuel Doak, the founder of the 
institution, was President of it. In the same year, and* 
before he had completed the course, he was married to 
Miss Judith Loyd McConnell, of Abingdon, Va. 1 The 
marriage seems to have been hurried up by the fol- 
lowing circumstance: One day Mr. McConnell, the 

1 One account says she was of Tazewell, Tenn. 



CONFERENCES OF 1847, 1 848, AND 1849. 53 

father of Judith, rode up to the house of Mr. Alexan- 
der Mathes, the father of Harvey, and inquired for 
Harvey, and, being told that he was not at home, he 
said : "Well, he will have to' come and do something for 
Judith ; she is perishing away to nothing." The couple 
had been engaged for some time, and they loved very 

Mr. Mathes began his teaching career as a member of 
the faculty of Washington College in 1823. At the 
close of the term he removed to Athens as Principal of 
the Athens Seminary. In 1826 he was received into the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1830 he removed to 
Madisonville to take charge of the Madisonville Acad- 
emy. In 1838 he was admitted on trial into*the Holston 
Conference and appointed to the presidency of Holston 
College, at New Market, Tenn., which position he held 
till his transfer to the Missouri Conference in 1847. 
He continued in educational work in the West till the 
day of his death, which occurred February 18, "1859. 

Mr. Mathes was a man of robust constitution, large 
and portly, and weighed two hundred and fifty pounds. 
Twenty-five years of consecutive labor in the school- 
room, together with pulpit labors at quarterly meetings, 
camp meetings, appointments here and there, and lec- 
tures on various topics, had so sapped his fine consti- 
tution that he failed suddenly. Never tiring, he made 
full proof of his ministry. The common people heard 
him gladly. He had lived a most self-sacrificing life — 
giving board, tuition, and clothing to numbers of young 
men, and free tuition to ministers, widows, and the 
poor, always contributing liberally to the Church and 
dispensing a liberal hospitality. He always kept a 



prophet's chamber in his house ; no one was denied 
food, raiment, or shelter. For these reasons he died 
poor, although his income had usually been good. 

Mr. Mathes was a man of superior intellect and ex- 
cellent scholarship. He was a preacher of consider- 
able ability. I have in my possession a published ser- 
mon of his on "Pedo-Baptism Examined," with a pre- 
fixed essay on "The Mask Removed," and an Appendix 
containing historical quotations on the subject of bap- 
tism. It is a neatly printed pamphlet of sixty pages, 
duodecimo; J. F. Grant, printer, 1833, Madisonville, 
Tenn. I have read portions of it and find it an able 
discussion of the subject. 

Mr. Mathes was of Presbyterian stock, descended 
from a long line of Presbyterians. He and his good 
wife were at first stanch Presbyterians. How and why 
did they become Methodists? This I will leave the late 
Major Henry M. Folsom, of Elizabethton, Tenn., to 
tell. In a letter to me he says : 

With reference to a letter I had from you sometime since, 
and which, by reason of a severe accident to myself a year ago, 
I have been unable to answer until now, I have to say that 
the facts and incidents about which you inquire occurred many 
year ago and have rested in my own memory ever since. They 
were of such interest, however, as to make a deep impression 
on my mind which time has failed to erase, and I will give 
them to you to be used as you desire. 

My first acquaintance and association with Rev. Allen H. 
Mathes dates back to the summer of 1846. He was at that 
time the President of Holston College, located at New Market, 
Tenn., and I, though a mere boy, was placed under his in- 
struction as a student and received into his family as a boarder. 
From that time I knew him personally and intimately until the 
closing out of his last term there. Having in the meantime 

CONFERENCES OF 1847, ^4^> AND 1849. 55 

resigned his position there and perfected his arrangements to 
go West, in the spring of 1848 he carried this purpose into 
effect. At his urgent and repeated requests I had finally ob- 
tained the consent of my parents to accompany him ; and when 
he left New Market, I was of the party and became again a 
member of his family, which relation continued until late in 
the fall of 1849, when I returned home. In this connection 
and with the intimacy between us growing continually, for 
there was never a break in it during all these years, I cannot 
refrain from saying that in my opinion Mr. Mathes was the 
very best man, socially, morally, and religiously, that I ever 
knew, a very prince among men in all the walks of life. Be- 
fore we left Tennessee he had accepted the presidency of 
Ebenezer High School, located ten miles north of Springfield, 
Mo. In his early life he had married Miss Judith McConnell, 
of Abingdon, Va., a most lovable, gentle, and devotedly Chris- 
tian woman, a fitting mate in every respect for such a man. 
Both were Presbyterians of the strictest old school — he having 
been brought up in that faith under the unflinching traditions 
of ancestors farther back than he could remember, and she 
having received her religious training at the feet of such giants 
of Calvinistic theology as Rev. James McChain, of her own 
town, Rev. F. A. Ross, of Kingsport, Tenn., and others whose 
guns were ever ready for action and were constantly heard 
thundering up and down and across the hills of Southwest 
Virginia and East Tennessee in defense of the severe doc- 
trines of Calvin, which they preached in all their purity and 

Early in life Mr. Mathes had assumed the duties and re- 
sponsibilities of Church membership at Old Salem Church, 
near Washington College, and, after due preparation, was or- 
dained a minister in the Presbyterian Church, which relation he 
maintained for several years. Meantime he had been filling a 
professorship in the college and occupying the old brick man-, 
sion that had served as a professor's home for many years. This 
home stood perhaps one hundred and fifty yards northwest 
of the college building. Immediately between the two build- 
ings there stood a large, low-limbed, spreading white oak tree 


that had looked down on the surrounding landscape and fur- 
nished grateful shade for the tired and heated for generations 
back, a very monarch of the forest, defiant in its strength and 
beautiful in its grand proportions. It was, perhaps, about the 
third year of Mr. Mathes's ministry, that the incident occurred 
about which I am now to write, and I desire to state distinctly 
that all my information concerning it came from the lips of 
both Mr. and Mrs. Mathes, from whom I had the details over 
and over again, and the absolute truth of which I never for a 
single moment doubted after I heard them tell it. They had 
been Presbyterians and he a minister. After I knew them, 
they were earnest Methodists. The incident to be related 
wrought the change and made . him a Methodist minister, 
earnest and true. 

It was an ideal day in the late springtime, a still, dreamy 
day when all nature seemed settling down into a dreamy rest. 
The birds had hidden themselves beneath the drooping leaves, 
their twitterings were hushed and still, the very air itself 
seemed to have gone asleep, and nature rejoiced in the still- 
ness. Mrs. Mathes . was sitting beside her window fronting 
the college building and gazing languidly through the foliage 
toward the college, when, without a moment's notice, there 
came from an absolutely clear sky, on the smiling face of 
which no sign of a cloud could be seen, a fierce flash and at 
the same instant a deadly crash; and the old tree, through 
whose branches she was looking, lay shivered and splintered, 
torn to pieces by the force of a dreadful thunderbolt. Mr. 
Mathes, attending to his duties in his recitation room, rushed 
to his home to find his gentle wife almost in convulsions from 
fright at her narrow escape from what she scarcely knew, 
but with the question uppermost in her mind, "If it had been 
I instead of the tree, where would I have had to spend 
the eternal ages that lie before me?" and to her horror her 
religion only echoed where? She had never heard the loving 
Christ whisper to her soul, "Peace, be still," and she was afraid. 
For weeks and months she brooded over her condition as she 
came to see it. Her husband and her pastor sought in vain to 
lead her back to the truth of the faith she had learned to dis- 

CONFERENCES OF 1 847, 1 848, AND 1 849. 57 

trust, but their efforts came to nothing, and in such a state of 
mind she passed the summer. When the time came for nip- 
ping frosts, falling leaves, and Methodist camp meetings, the 
annual meeting of that kind for Sulphur Springs, in Wash-" 
ington County, was approaching, and at her earnest request 
and insistence her husband made suitable arrangements for 
attending the meeting, and at the Saturday morning appoint- 
ment they composed a part of the assembled congregation. 
At the conclusion of the sermon penitents were invited to the 
altar, and among the first to respond was Mrs. Mathes. The 
usual services of such occasions were had, and the audience 
was dismissed. By invitation and the cordial permission of 
her husband, she agreed to remain over for the night service, 
and there again at the proper time she- was found among the 
penitents ; but not for long, for in a little while her penitence 
had changed to joy, and she was shouting the praises of her 
newly found Saviour, and in her happy heart the new song 
she learned that night stayed until she went to heaven. The 
still, small voice had said, "Peace, be still," and she was not 

Another year passed, to her one of peace and joy in her 
new faith and love. Her life exemplified the purity of her 
professions. To Mr. Mathes the year was one of deep thought 
and serious inquiry. The camp meeting season came again, 
and the Saturday morning service found them again under the 
old shed at the camp ground, sitting near the same spot they 
had occupied the previous year. The sermon was profound and 
powerful, closing with an earnest and loving appeal to all to 
come and join the preacher on his journey to the better land, 
promising them victory at the end. 

Without a moment of hesitation, in his calm and dignified 
maner Mr. Mathes arose from his seat and approached the 
altar; but in the act of kneeling there a moment of hesitation 
came, and he lifted himself to his full stature and, with shining 
face, turned to the audience and announced his conversion, 
and there was joy on earth and in heaven. In a moment, al- 
most, the arms of his happy wife were about him, and again 
and as long as they both lived they journeyed together. After 


due deliberation, but with no unseemly haste, they severed 
their former Church relations and became members of the 
Methodist Church. Soon afterwards Mr. Mathes was licensed 
to preach. And this is why and how he became a Methodist 
preacher. He was able, earnest, and accomplished. 

This is a touching story and quite flattering to Meth- 
odist pride. Major Folsom is mistaken when he says 
that Mr. Mathes was licensed to preach by the Meth- 
odist Church. He was received from the Presbyterian 
Church in elder's orders. Some years before the above 
was written Major Folsom in conversation told me the 
story of the change of Mr. Mathes from the Presbyte- 
rian to the Methodist Church. His health then was 
good and his memory retentive. He said that when 
Mr. Mathes determined to join the Methodist Church 
he went before his Presbytery, stated his change of 
mind, and requested an honorable dismission from the 
Church. The Presbytery acted magnanimously in the 
matter, and not only granted his request, but allowed 
him to retain His eider's parchment. He was there- 
fore received into the Holston Conference in elder's 
orders. The Minutes show negatively that he was 
never ordained deacon and elder by the Conference. 

The above story is an apt illustration of the ideas of 
experimental religion which the Methodists entertained 
at that time. It has been stated that Mr. Mathes joined 
the Conference in 1838. I take advantage of this date 
to insert some matter that ought to have been brought 
out earlier in this work — namely, the experience of a 
Dutchman, which further illustrates the manner of 
experimental religion which prevailed in the Methodist 
Church at that period. This man was John Ruble, who 

CONFERENCES OF 1 847, 1 848, AND 1 849. 59 

lived in Carter County, Tenn. After his profession of 
religion he was a man of sublime piety. Rev. Thomas 
M. Morrell heard the experience in the year 1838 at a 
love feast held by Revs. Talley and Fulton on Stony 
Creek, Carter County. It was as follows : 

When te Melodists first cooms in our neighporhood, some 
beoples say tey mighty pad folks, und some say tey mighty 
coot folks; and I tinks I'll co and hear for myself, and J 
coes and kits in te callery, vere I can see te breacher; and 
he breaches along till after a while he says sometin' tat skeers 
me up, and I looks at him and he looks right at me. Veil, I 
tinks I can be as sassy as he is ; I can look at him as long as 
he can look at me. And he breaches on and tells me every 
mean ting I ever tone in my life, and I tinks, "Who tells tat 
breacher how badt I toes ?" Veil, I tinks of an old voman in 
te neighporhood, tat she must tell te breacher, and I settle 
mit her ven I see her. Tirectly I sees te breacher bekins to 
cry. "Tare now," I tinks, "tat breacher cryin' to tink how badt 
I vas." Ten I bekins to cry, but after a while te meetin' pireaks 
oop. Now, I tinks, eferypody knows how pad I toes, and 
tey'll see me cryin' here in te meetin', and I tinks I'll shust set 
still till , eferypody's kone and nopody shall see me. As I 
coes home I tinks I ought to bray. I sees a pig log outside 
te road; and ven I kits tere, I tinks I vill bray. Ven I kits 
town on my knees, I hear sometin' behindt me in te leafs, and 
I chumps Up and coes along agin; and ton't you tink tat oldt 
tevil skeer me oop four or five times? At last I tinks I vill 
bray if te tevil toes ketch me. Ten after dot I tinks I'll co 
oop to fader's. When I kits tere, tey're all cone oop to Proter 
Henry's to meetin'. Veil, I coes along and I kits in behindt 
te door. Tey sings and brays, till after a while I bekins to 
feel so badt, I tinks I'll kit oop and co out; and I findts if 
I kits oop I cooms town agin, and I shust leans pack on te 
ped. Zen te meetin' preaks oop, and I coes home and kethers 
oop all te logs and chunks oop in te head of a holler, where I 
coes to bray every evenin'. I intented to have religion and 
nopody sha'n't know it. I won't pe like tese noisy Metodists. 








CONFERENCES OF 1847, 1848, AND 1849. 6l 

Put one evenin', when I coes oop tere, te Lord plesses my soul, 
and te first ting I knows I'se a hollerin' "Gory!" shust as 
loadt as I could holler. And I ton't care if all te world hears 
me say Clory ! and I says Clory ! now. 

The effect was electrical, and much excitement and 
shouting followed. I have attempted to give the expe- 
rience in dialect just as it was related to me. 

The Conference met in its twenty-fifth session in 
Knoxville October u, 1848, Bishop Robert Paine pre- 
siding and C. D. Smith acting as Secretary. 

Communications were received from the Book Agent 
at Richmond, Va., E. Stevenson, Assistant Book Agent 
at Louisville, Ky., and the Assistant Book Agent at 
Charleston, S. C, and referred to the proper commit- 
tees. I copy these items from the Minutes to show that 
nuclei of a Southern Methodist Publishing House had 
been established. The Church at that time had no 
printing establishment, and the Book Agents were only 
publishers, and they let the printing of the Connection 
to publishing houses not belonging to the Church. 

A communication was also received from E. Steven- 
son, Secretary of the Parent Missionary Society, show- 
ing that the new Connection had started out with the 
missionary spirit and a missionary organization. At 
this session the Confcience organized itself into a 
missionary society as it did at the last, and for many 
years this was the rule. 

I copy the following paragraphs from the journal : 

The vote by which Thomas Stringfield's character was 
passed was, on motion, reconsidered and left to further 
consideration, whereupon a set of resolutions calling on Mr. 
Joseph L. King, of Knoxville, for charges against him made 


by some unknown person to the Bible House at New York 
touching his agency, were adopted. . . . 

On motion, the case of Brother Stringfield was called up, 
and a communication from Joseph L. King in reply to one 
sent him by the Secretary of the Conference transmitting a 
preamble and resolutions calling for complaints said to be 
lodged in the hands of Mr. King from the Bible House in 
New York, where they had been made by some unknown 
person, to this Conference, was received, Mr. King declining 
to give up said papers containing said complaints on account 
of injunctions authorizing him to do so only on the concurrent 
consent of the accusers and the accused; and, on motion, 
Thomas Stringfield' s character was passed. . . . 

On motion, the Secretary of the Conference was instructed 
to forward a copy of the proceedings of our body in the case 
of Brother Stringfield to the Corresponding^ Secretary of the 
American Bible Society. 

If I have been correctly informed, the complaints 
came from Strawberry Plains and were instigated by 
sectarian spite. I believe I have the name of the ac- 
cuser ; but for the sake of his posterity, I will not 
divulge it. The whole procedure of stabbing in the 
dark, publishing the accusations, and yet refusing to 
give the name. of the accuser, and declining to furnish 
the text of the complaints, was an infamous affair which 
the Conference summarily rebuked by the passage of 
the character of the accused. The gist of the accusa- 
tions, I learn, was that Mr. Stringfield was attending 
to his private business and neglecting the work of his 
agency. No one was rash enough to assail his moral 
and religious character. The charges, such as they 
were, were false and malicious. 

A committee consisting of T. Sullins, E. E. Wiley, 
and David Adams was appointed to report on the con- 

CONFERENCES OF 1847, 1848, AND 1849. °3 

dition of the Methodist Episcopalian. The report 
showed that the paper was in debt to the amount of 
$541.45. The committee discussed the question of the 
suspension of the paper and took the ground that its 
publication should be continued for the following rea- 
sons : That the doctrines and discipline of the Church 
in Holston were being violently assailed by its enemies, 
that the Church needed an organ for its defense, and 
that the controversy was too local to admit of free and 
particular discussion in the General Conference papers. 
The report asserted that Dr. Patton not only edited the 
paper, but conducted its business in detail. His re- 
appointment was requested and $100 allowed him for 
clerk's hire. This report was adopted with a resolution 
pledging the moral and financial support of the Con- 

I knew Dr. Patton personally, and I now know that 
to devolve the editorship and business management of 
the paper upon a man of his temperament and physical 
constitution meant decline and death within a few 

At this session (1848) the Conference resolved to 
establish a high school at Strawberry Plains. Creed 
Fulton, who at the time was President of Holston Col- 
lege, not satisfied with the outlook of that institution, 
had consulted with Thomas Stringfield, and the two 
had agreed that a high school ought to be established 
at the Plains. .A lot was accordingly procured from 
Mr. Stringfield for the building, money was raised, 
and a two-story brick college building and a brick 
boarding house were erected ; and Mr. Fulton, resign- 
ing the presidency of Holston College, was appointed 


Superintendent of Strawberry Plains High School. 
Mr. Fulton managed the finances of the institution and 
superintended its interests generally, but depended 
upon his assistants, Profs. John Winniford, Joseph H. 
Price, and James S. Kennedy, for the literary conduct 
of the school. All these were graduates of Emory and 
Henry College. Professor Winniford was a son of 
Mr. George Winniford, who superintended the erection 
of the buildings of Emory and Henry College, and he 
was a brilliant young man. Professor Price was a 
brother of the writer. He eventually moved to Texas, 
where he taught and engaged in farming. In middle 
life he became a local preacher. His widow and some 
of his children still live in Texas. 

Some years after the opening of the school it was 
dubbed "college." The school had several Presidents 
after this, but I cannot give the order. They were: 
Rufus K. Scruggs, John H. Brunner, Thaddeus P. 
Thomas, James S. Kennedy, David Sullins, and Rich- 
ard L. Kirkpatrick. There was no lack of students; 
there were usually as many as could be accommodated. 
The school was suspended near the beginning of the 
Civil War. Subsequently the land fell into the hands 
of a joint stock company, picked men. The members 
of the company having died, the Stringfield heirs gave 
a quitclaim to the lot for $250, which money they 
turned over to the missionary cause. 

On Sunday of the Conference Bishop Paine ordained 
twenty-nine deacons and fifteen elders, local and trav- 

The Conference drew on the Nashville Christian 
Advocate for seventy-five dollars. 

CONFERENCES OF 1847, I&4&, AND 1849. °5 

Admitted on trial: Ambrose G. Worley, Hamilton Wilson, 
William H. Kelly, John H. Hoge. 

Readmitted: James Y. Crawford, Lemuel C. Waters. 

Located: Stephen W. Earnest, Joseph B. Daughtry, J. B. 

Superannuated: Robertson Gannaway, Thomas Wilkerson, 
Eli K. Hutsell, James Dixon, William C. Graves, Stephen D. 
Adams, David Adams. 

Died: Oscar F. Cunningham. 

Traveling preachers, 97. 

Numbers in society: White, 36,695; colored, 3,931. Total, 
40,626. Increase, 2,363. 

Collected for superannuates, etc., $303.83. Appropriated to 
bishops, $170; to Conference claimants, $133-83- 

Collected for missions, $l6oo.26; for Sunday school books, 

$465.55. * * 

The missionary figures do not include the anniversary col- 
lection at the Conference. 

My statement of numbers in society does not agree 
with the figures in the General Minutes, but my figures 
are taken from the Conference Journal. Besides, in 
the General Minutes the number of local preachers is 
added to the membership, which, I am sure, is a mis- 
take, as the names of local preachers were always re- 
corded in the class books in the lists of members of the 
Church, and the local preachers, therefore, are prob- 
ably counted twice in the General Minutes. 

At the first General Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, two men were elected bish- 
ops — William Capers, D.D., and Robert Paine, D.D. 
Dr. Paine was born in Person County, N. C, Novem- 
ber 12, 1799. He removed to Tennessee in early life, 
and was admitted on trial into the Tennessee Confer- 
ence in 18 18. His learning and talents secured him 



some of the most prominent pastoral appointments till 
1830, when he was elected President of La Grange Col- 
lege, Alabama. He remained at the head of this institu- 
tion till 1846, when he was promoted to the episcopacy. 
He was a member of every General Conference from 
1824 to 1844. He took an active part in the debates and 
the legislation of the General Conference of 1844. He 
was chairman of the committee of nine which reported 
the Plan of Separation. He was a member of the 
Louisville Convention of 1845. After his election to 
the bishopric, he traveled extensively, supervising the 
Church. He was the author of "The Life and Times 
of Bishop McKendree," a work of great literary merit. 1 
Bishop Paine suffered greatly in his declining years. 
He labored on his biography of Bishop McKendree 
when sickness and feebleness would have suggested 
rest. "His last days were full of peace and holy tri- 
umph. Almost a book could be filled with expressions 
of wisdom as well as of joy which fell from his lips dur- 
ing the last few months of his life/' 2 When speaking 
of dying, he said: "I have no fear of death as to its 
results, but I dread the physical suffering which must 
attend the dissolution of soul and body." He fre- 
quently requested his friends to pray that he might be 
delivered from great bodily suffering in his last mo- 
ments. His wishes and the prayer of his' friends were 
answered, for he died without a struggle or a groan 
October 19, 1882. A most excellent biography of the 
bishop was written by his friend, Rev. R. H. Rivers. 

1 Simpson's "Cyclopedia of Methodism," p. 690. 
s Rivers's "Life of Bishop Paine," p. 307. 

CONFERENCES OF 1 847, 1848, AND I&J.9. 67 

Mr. Rivers, in summing up the character of this great 
and good man, presents the following points : He was 
a man of indomitable energy; was possessed of inflex- 
ible firmness; was as brave as he was firm; was pos- 
sessed of magnanimity of the highest order; was a 
writer of more than ordinary merit ; was a man of con- 
siderable scientific attainments, especially in geology; 
was a gospel preacher in the fullest sense ; was a great 
bishop ; and, as the crowning fact, was a Christian. 

Bishop Paine was above the average in size, broad 
through the shoulders, and built more for strength 
than for activity. As a preacher he was more of a 
philosopher than an orator. His style was terse and 
Sententious. In one of his talks which I heard, he 
alluded to the charge that the Methodist bishops were 
tyrants and crushed the preachers, and he said: "I 
would rather be crushed than to crush." He was a 
man of great kindness and sympathy. At the Confer- 
ence of 1855 I requested my presiding elder to have 
me removed from Rogersville Station, which was not 
able to support a married man, but I was reappointed 
to that station all the same. After the adjournment of 
the Conference, I went to Bishop Paine, who had pre- 
sided, and said : "Bishop, why did you reappoint me to 
Rogersville, which is not able to support a married 
preacher?" He replied: "Your presiding elder is to 
blame for not fully representing your case to me." 
But gently patting me on the back, he said : "Go along, 
brother, and do the best you can." 

Oscar F. Cunningham was born in Grayson County, 
Va., May I, 1813. He embraced religion and joined 
the Church in his youth. He was admitted into the 



Holston Conference in 1834. The fact of his admis- 
sion is not mentioned in the General Minutes, but it is 
named in the Conference Journal and among the ap- 
pointments in the General Minutes. His first appoint- 
ment was to Jonesboro Circuit as junior Under David 
Adams. He located in 1839 ; but not satisfied with the 
local relation, he returned to the Conference in 1840. 
Beginning with the Conference of 1843, ne was a P re " 
siding elder for four years, two years on Athens Dis- 
trict and two on Rogersville District. He was super- 
annuated in 1847, and died June 15, 1848. 

I have a distinct recollection of Mr. Cunningham. 
He was spare and rather tall. He had the mouth and 
voice of an orator. He was a fine preacher. I heard 
him preach at Emory and Henry College when I was 
about fifteen years old. I was too young to be a judi- 
cious critic, but his sermon was to me wonderfully per- 
spicuous and fascinating. He had a musical voice and 
sometimes sang with excellent effect a solo just before 
preaching. His favorite solo was the one he sang just 
before he breathed his last. 

A few days before Mr. Cunningham left the world 
his physician informed him that he must die. To a 
brother itinerant who visited him he said: "Tell my 
brethren that I died as near my post as I could." At 
the close of the following Sabbath he said he had never 
spent so pleasant a Sabbath on earth. He communed 
with his friends shortly before his departure, called 
his family around him, and, after exhorting them to 
live in the service of God and commending his afflicted 
and much-distressed companion and dear little, help- 
less children to God, he bade them an affectionate 

CONFERENCES OF 1847, 1 848, AND 1849. 69 

farewell. After he had become so much exhausted as 
to be unable to talk freely, he often raised his hand in 
token of victory. After a sinking spell he revived and 
sang that beautiful hymn beginning, 

"Arise my soul, and stretch thy wings." 1 

I knew well Rev. Bennett K. Cunningham, a brother 
of Oscar. He was a local preacher, and spent most of 
his life in teaching. If I am not mistaken, he spent his 
last days in Rutledge, Tenn. He was a man of superior 
intellect and of great purity of life. Miss Polly Cun- 
ningham, of Glade Spring, Va., was a sister of Oscar 
and Bennett, and such was her Christian character and 
useful life that she is still remembered in that section 
with great affection. 

In "Sketches of Former Days," by Robertson Gan- 
naway, is made the following mention of Oscar Cun- 
ningham : 

We took in Jonesboro on our way, and I spent several days 
with our brother O. F. Cunningham, the first year of his itin- 
eracy. I had traveled there before. Brother Cunningham was 
a good deal embarrassed when he first started, and made at 
times a bungling out, so much so that some young people of 
the circuit said that if his. text had the smallpox his sermon 
would be in very little danger of catching it. But by intense 
study and indefatigable labor he in a very few years made one 
of our very best preachers. 

Dr. Brunner was appointed to the Athens Circuit in 
1848. He there found a worthy local preacher, John 
Hoyl, the grandfather of the late Judge John B. Hoyl, 
of Cleveland, Tenn. He was a native of South Caro- 

1 General Minutes. 


lina, and raised a large and influential family, all work- 
ing members of the Methodist Church. He was very 
eccentric, but as just as Aristides. His sense of the 
ludicrous was keen, and while preaching he often pro- 
voked laughter in his audience without intending to 
do so. He used to tell this joke on himself : One day he 
borrowed a gun of his son and went duck-hunting. 
His son warned him that the gun kicked. While cross- 
ing Chestua Creek on a log he espied a duck ; and just 
as he raised his gun to shoot he called to mind what 
his son had told him, and as he pulled the trigger he 
leaned forward a little to avoid being kicked backward 
into the water. But the gun snapped, and he fell for- 
ward into the creek, getting an involuntary immersion. 

How the sober, staid, well-balanced John B. Hoyl 
happened to spring from this eccentric ancestor I can- 
not clivine. But I knew Judge Hoyl intimately. He 
had the moral integrity of* his ancestor but none of his 

The Conference met in its twenty-sixth session in 
Cleveland, Tenn., October n, 1849, Bishop Andrew 
President, and E. F. Sevier and W. G. E. Cunnyng- 
ham, Secretaries. Revs. Mann, Simmons, Turner, and 
Thomas, of the Georgia Conference, were welcomed as 
visitors and invited within the bar. 

The Conference directed the Board of Stewards to 
draw on the Nashville Christian Advocate for one hun- 
dred dollars. 

Delegates to the ensuing General Conference, to 
meet in St. Louis, Mo., were elected as follows : Sam- 
uel Patton, Charles Collins, James Atkins, Conaro D. 

CONFERENCES OF 1847, 1 848, AND 1849. 7 1 

Smith, William Hicks, and William H. Rogers. Re- 
serves : R. M. Stevens and Thomas Stringfield. 

Resolutions on the subject of collecting material for 
a history of Holston Conference were offered by S. 
Patton and adopted. This seems to have. been the first 
move in that direction. But so far as I can learn 
nothing valuable was ever done on that subject till 1866, 
when a historical society was organized. When Dr. 
Cunnyngham began his work as historian, he found no 
material accumulated anywhere, except in the official 
records of the Conference, in such magazines and news- 
papers, secular histories and diaries of the preachers as 
he could find, and in verbal traditions. This meager 
and desultory source of information is less to be re- 
gretted when we bear in mind that one of the greatest 
services rendered the historical writer and historical 
reader is oblivion, which while seemingly a misfortune 
is really a blessing ; for while it diminishes the amount, 
it increases the quality of historical material on the 
principle of the survival of the fittest. 

On motion, the General Conference delegates were 
instructed to oppose any change in the Discipline on 
the subject of slavery. This action, which represented 
the spirit of the Southern Conferences generally, was 
an evidence in addition to evidence already adduced 
that the Church, South, was satisfied with the Disci- 
pline as it was on the question of slavery, and that the 
Northern Conferences were the revolutionary party in 
1844; just. as the Southern States were satisfied with 
the Federal Constitution as it was, and in the War 
between the States the Northern States were really the 
revolutionary party. 


Admitted on trial: Elkanah H. King, Newton C. Edmond- 
son, Wiley F. Parker, John C. Hyden, John M. Varnell, Wil- 
liam W. Hargraves, Ransom M. Moore, William J. Witcher, 
Riley A. Giddens. 

Readmitted : Jesse Cunnyngham. 

Located: William Sturges, John W. Thompson, Jackson S. 
Burnett, Andrew Gass, John Alley, William D. Snapp. 

Discontinued : John H. Hoge. 

Superannuated : John Barringer, Robertson Gannaway, 
Thomas Wilkerson, Eli K. Hutsell, James Dixon, Stephen D. 
Adams, David Adams, Jesse Cunnyngham. 

Numbers in society: White, 33,111; colored, 3,466; Indian, 
158. Total, 36,735- Decrease, 3,891. 

Local preachers, 313 ; traveling preachers, 102. 

Collected for superannuates, no report ; for missions, $1,590.- 
25 ; for Bibles', $2,600 ; for Sunday school books, $473.90. 

The Conference Journal reports for Sunday schools $699.72. 

William Sturges was an earnest, honest preacher, 
whose sermons were characterized by the vocule at the 
the end of his sentences. He lived and died in Smyth 
County, Va. 

John W. Thompson began his itinerant career abreast 
of Stephen D. Adams. Both were men of unusual 
gifts. Thompson had a paralytic stroke in advanced 
life. At his best he was an eloquent preacher. 

John Alley was above the average in talent. He lived 
in Sequatchee Valley. He was a man of prudence and 
great piety. While a meeting was in progress at Hen- 
ninger's Chapel, in 1853, ne arose one morning at the 
home of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Kirkland, and walked 
the floor for half an hour, laughing for joy.. The laugh 
was irrepressible. 

Jackson S. Burnett really deserves a biography. He 
was reared in East Tennessee. His educational ad- 

CONFERENCES OF 1847, 1 848, AND 1849. 73 

vantages were limited, but he became a good English 
scholar. While a member of the Conference he stood 
high as a preacher and gentleman. For many years he 
was a useful local preacher and a successful merchant. 
He reared an excellent family. His first wife, the 
mother of his children, was a daughter of Mr. James 
M. Alexander, of Buncombe County, N. C. He was 
married four times. His last few years were spent in 
pastoral work. He had some first-class charges, among 
them Church Street, Knoxville, and Central Church, 
Asheville. As a speaker he was elegant in style, fluent 
in utterance, trenchant in criticism, and of great emo- 
tional power. 

When extreme Western North Carolina was taken 
from Holston to become a part of the Western North 
Carolina Conference, in 1890, Mr. Burnett fell into that 
Conference and remained in it to the day of his death; 
but he never lost his affection for his brethren of 
Holston. A short time before his death he sent to the 
Holston Conference a check for one hundred dollars 
to be added to the fund for Conference claimants. The 
Minutes of the Western North Carolina Conference 
contain a handsome memorial of this good man, from 
which I take the following paragraph : 

He was a man of quick perceptions, refined sentiment, 
courteous disposition, faultless taste, alert sensibilities, rich 
sympathies, liberal conceptions, and good power of general- 
ization. As a preacher Brother Burnett had peculiar endow- 
ments and resources. His style was terse, energetic, and racy. 
No estimate of what he accomplished by his ministry can be 
just without taking into account the fact that his early oppor- 
tunities were almost nothing. He said that his schooldays 
were so few and unimpressive as to have left scarcely a mem- 


ory of themselves in his mind. After a few years of un- 
eventful farm life he was called to a mercantile clerkship on 
account of his integrity and native brightness. After a few 
more years, filled with the care and labor of a merchant, he 
went into the ministry, and within five years was able to occupy 
with distinction some of the best and most cultivated places in 
the Conference. His conviction was deep, his conversion clear, 
and his growth in every Christian grace constant and solid. 
The sun of his great life went down without a cloud and left 
a supernal radiance on all circles it had touched. 

My father lived within the bounds of Abingdon 
Circuit, and Brother Burnett traveled it when I was 
quite a boy. He occasionally stopped with us during 
the year, and I remember very distinctly his genial and 
gentlemanly demeanor, as well also as his studious 
habits. At one visit he was. poring over Samuel John- 
son's "Lives of the Poets," a work of high literary 
merit, and he occasionally called the attention of the 
family to some of the beauties of that work. 

I often met with him when he was merchandising at 
what is now named Alexander. Though a busy man, 
he preached often in various parts of the country, and 
the people who dealt with him were his most respectful 
and attentive hearers. As a local preacher he exerted 
a gracious and extensive influence in the section where 
he lived. 

John H. Hoge was a large part of his life a citizen 
of Bland County, Va. He was a man of superior nat- 
ural endowments, had a strong physical frame and a 
large brain; but he gave himself more to business and 
pleasure than to study. He was a many-sided man, 
followed a number of employments, and therefore be- 
came distinguished in no one line. He was preacher, 

CONFERENCES OF 1847, 1848, AND 1849. 75 

farmer, lawyer, physician, and speculator in live stock. 
While living in Wise County, Va., he performed a sur- 
gical operation which of itself would entitle a man to 
fame. In a very serious and critical case of obstetrics a 
consultation was called. It was agreed that the only 
hope of the woman was what is known as the Caesarean 
operation. This operation was suggested by Dr. Hoge, 
and he insisted that it should be performed. The other 
doctors declined to assume any responsibility for such a 
dangerous experiment and withdrew from the case and 
left. Dr. Hoge, left alone, bravely assumed the respon- 
sibility and performed the operation, saving both the 
mother and the child. Dr. Hoge's education and ex- 
perience as a physician were limited. He had nothing 
but a country practice, and that too in a sparsely set- 
tled section. Hence this case, which defied precedents 
and analogies, was an illustration of the power of 

A few words about the origin of Bradley County and 
the city of Cleveland, which have taken such a noble 
part in the entertainment of the Conferences. This 
section belonged to the Cherokee Indians up to a com- 
paratively recent date. Among them there were two 
parties, the Ridge and Ross parties. The Ridge party 
favored the policy of transferring the territory to the 
United States; the Ross party, headed by John Ross, 
the chief, bitterly opposed the transfer. The principal 
men of the Ridge party met at Red Clay, a few miles 
west of where Cleveland now stands, and formally 
signed a treaty making the transfer. This was regard- 
ed as an act of treason by the Ross party, and they 
resolved to put the traitors to death. This resolution 


brought on a bloody strife. Assassinations were com- 
mon. Jack Walker, whose father had been an old 
chief, and who lived about three miles east of Cleve- 
land, was one of the council at Red Clay, and as he was 
going home he was ambushed and shot. He rode on 
home, a distance of eight miles, but died from the 
effects of the wound a few days later. The men who 
shot him were arrested and placed in jail at Athens, 
Tenn., but Judge Keith discharged them on the ground 
that the case did not come under his jurisdiction. 

The Ridge Treaty was signed in 1834, and the gov- 
ernment recognized it as valid, and so settled the ques- 
tion. In 1836 the Ross party gave in. This treaty 
gave our government a large scope of country, em- 
bracing portions of North Georgia, North Alabama, 
North Mississippi, and Lower East Tennessee. The 
portion lying in East Tennessee south of Hiwassee 
River was called the Ocoee District. Bradley County 
was carved out of this district, and included what is 
now Polk County and a part of what is now James 
County. Immediately after the final settlement of the 
ownership of the territory Generals Wool and Scott 
went through the nation gathering up the Indians in 
view of their removal to the Indian Territory. 

The Legislature of 1837 ordered a survey of Ocoee 
District. The lands were put upon the market for the 
first four months at $7.50 per acre, and then $5 dol- 
lars; later as low as $2 and $1. The last sales were 
made in 1841 at one cent per acre. 

Bradley County was organized in May, 1836. An- 
drew Taylor's place was selected for the seat of justice 
and named Cleveland after . a Revolutionary hero. 

CONFERENCES OF 1847, 1 848, AND 1849. 77 

Cleveland is situated on a watershed. Most of the 
county is drained by streams running north into Hi- 
wassee River, which finds its way to the Gulf of Mex- 
ico through the Mississippi River, while the waters 
that rise a few miles east of Cleveland enter the Gulf 
by the Alabama and Mobile Rivers. 

The first circuit court of Bradley County was or- 
ganized by Judge Charles E. Keith. ' 

Missionaries entered the Ocoee District several years 
before the removal of the Indians. The Methodists 
were first. Dr. John B. McFerrin was early on the 
ground; and Henry Price, a local preacher, lived in 
the nation and could and did preach in Cherokee. Eli- 
jah Still was appointed to Hiwassee Mission in 1834. 
Newtown District comes upon the Conference map in 
1835 with David B. Cumming as presiding elder and 
mission appointments as follows : 

Chattanooga, C. Stump ; Spring Place, M. E. Hawk ; New- 
town, A. N. Ross, Elijah E. Still; Hiwassee, B. McRoberts; 
Valleytown, A. Campbell; Coontown, J. F. Root; Othcalooga, 
J. Boston; J. Fields, Interpreter. 

Spring Place Mission probably included the territory 
which afterwards became Bradley County. Hence the 
tradition that Madison J. Hawk was the first circuit 
rider for the white people in Bradley County. Cleve- 
land Circuit, so named, appears in the appointments for 
the first time in 1836, with Charles K. Lewis as incum- 
bent. The district embracing this circuit was at first 
named Newtown, then La Fayette, and later Athens. 
Cleveland was in Cleveland Circuit till the year 1855, 
when Grinsfield Taylor was appointed to Cleveland 
Station. The writer followed him in 1856. 


Cleveland was laid off and the streets were surveyed 
by John C. Kennedy upon the land occupied by Andrew 
Taylor, who had come into the nation a few years pre- 
viously and had married a Cherokee woman. The 
Rosses, Ridges, Vans, and Walkers, who were either 
full or half-breed Cherokees, married white women, 
and the white men who went early into the nation 
generally -married Indian women. 

The first Churches organized in the town were or- 
ganized by the Methodists and Presbyterians in 1837. 
The first Methodist Church was organized by Charles 
K. Lewis, who at the time was in charge of Cleveland 
Circuit, and the Presbyterian Church by Rev. James 
Tedford. Services were held in the courthouse till 
1840, when each denomination built a frame church. 
In 1849 the Methodists and in 1857 the Presbyte- 
rians each built a brick house. In 1859 the Cumber- 
land Presbyterians built a brick church, and the Bap- 
tists completed a similar work in 1867. In 1873 John 
H. Craigmiles built a beautiful church for the Episco- 
palians, and later the Christians (Campbellites) built 
a frame church. After the Civil War the Methodist 
Episcopal Church organized a congregation and built 
a small brick house. 

In the Centenary Movement of 1883 Rev. George R. 
Stuart, then in charge of Cleveland Station, undertook 
to raise money for the erection of a female college in 
Cleveland. He succeeded in raising in cash and valid 
subscriptions $20,000, with which a handsome central 
building was erected. Afterwards wings were added, 
and it is now one of the best college buildings in the 
country. Dr. David Sullins, then President of Emory 

CONFERENCES OF 1 847, 1 848, AND 1 849. 79 

and Henry College, was elected President. With 
Professors George R. Stuart and Joseph ■Stubblefield 
and some lady assistants he opened the school in Sep- 
tember, 1885. The school has been liberally patronized, 
and is still in a flourishing condition. In 1907 the 
central building was destroyed by fire ; but through the 
liberality of Cleveland friends and some others, it was 
rebuilt on a larger scale. The school is now (1909) 
under the joint presidency of J. W. Repass and Dr. 
Sullins. 1 

The Methodist Church in Cleveland has been strong 
all the while, and our best preachers have been appoint- 
ed to it from time to time. The laity have been well- 
to-do in worldly matters and at the same time deeply 
pious and consistent in their lives. 

The town of Cleveland is one of the most beautiful 
and flourishing towns of the State. Manufactories of 
various kinds have been established, such as a woolen 
mill, a stove foundry, a chair factory, a coffin fac- 
tory, a knitting factory, two door and blind factories, 
a large flouring mill, two canning establishments, a 
creamery, two ice factories, two meat markets, two 
banks, waterworks, electric plant, etc. The city has 
now (1909) over eight thousand inhabitants. 

When I had charge of the Cleveland Station, in 
1856-57, my class leader was a Mr. Delano, whose wife 
was a daughter of Mrs. Walker, the widow of Jack 
Walker. Mrs. Walker was then living and was a white 
woman and an excellent lady. Her daughter, Mrs. 

*At the present date (1912) Rev. Barney Thompson is 
President of the institution. 


Delano, was a model of refinement and a genuine 
Christian. Delano was one of the best men I ever 
knew and exerted a gracious religious influence in the 
community. The writer was appointed to Cleveland 
Station in 1856, and he and family spent the first few 
days of their stay in Cleveland at the Delano Hotel. 
Mr. Delano died during this Conference year. I wrote 
his obituary notice, and extract from it as follows : 

Lorenzo Delano, son of Peleg Delano, was born in Port- 
land, Me., July 11, 1816. He joined the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, and was baptized in Cherokee Nation, Ark., in 
Manch, 1847. A few months prior to taking these important 
steps he was married while engaged in business in that coun- 
try. In 1852 he removed to Ohio, and two years afterwards 
came to Cleveland, Tenn. Here he was engaged in public 
business up to the hour of his dissolution, being part of the 
time proprietor of a public house known as Ocoee House, part 
of the time engaged in selling goods, and at his death was depot 
agent of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad and pro- 
prietor of a splendidly conducted railroad hotel. In all these 
capacities he gained a reputation for promptness, energy, po- 
liteness, and unflinching integrity that few ever attain. In- 
deed, he was eminently a servant of the public, living and 
laboring for the benefit of his species. No death in this 
community ever produced a deeper and more general emotion, 
as was evidenced by the long procession of Masons, Odd Fel- 
lows, and Sabbath school scholars, together with about five 
hundred citizens, which followed his remains to the grave. As 
superintendent of the Sabbath school he was a model of fidelity; 
as class leader he was always at his post, unless providentially 
hindered; as a Christian his piety was deep, consistent, and 
uniform. In his private business, in his personal expenditures, 
he was perhaps sufficiently economical; but when the claims of 
religion and benevolence were presented, his liberality knew 
no limits but an empty purse and the demands of justice. He 
lived for the Church, and he gave freely to promote its in- 

CONFERENCES OF 1 847, 1 848, AND 1 849. 8 1 

terests. While the whole community deplores the loss of so 
good a man, his bereaved family are the principal sufferers. 
They were best acquainted with the sterling virtues of the 
husband and father. No man was ever more devoted to his 
family or possessed a greater share of the milk of human 
kindness, the essential basis of all domestic enjoyment. . . . 
He was taken seriously ill of pneumonia on May 10, 1857 ; and 
on Friday morning, the 15th, at three o'clock his sanctified spir^ 
it returned to God, who gave it. A short time before he died, 
being told that his end was near and being asked what were 
his spiritual prospects, his terse and expressive reply, charac- 
teristic of the man, was : "Death has no terrors for me." 
Having often associated with Brother Delano in the social cir- 
cle, in the prayer meeting, and in the classroom, as well as in 
the more public forms of worship, I should have been greatly 
astonished had his encounter with the last enemy been char- 
acterized by less composure or less confidence in his Redeemer. 

The following notice of Col. John Ross is taken 
from the Chattanooga Times: 

Through the accidental finding in the Carnegie Library of 
an old antebellum picture, the Times is enabled to show to 
the world how a noted man looked in his prime. His father, 
John Ross, built just this side of the Georgia line a large log 
dwelling, which still stands. That and a blacksmith shop 
constituted the Rossville so famous in the Chickamauga cam- 
paign. Long before the war Ross's Landing, at the foot of the 
present Market Street, was the predecessor of Chattanooga. 

Col. John Ross is the well-known principal chief of the 
Cherokee nation. As his face indicates, he is a gentleman of 
strong and well-cultivated intellect. He is a native Cherokee; 
but his complexion is fair, and no one would, from appear- 
ance, judge him to be closely connected by blood with the 
aborigines of America. His father, Mr. John Ross, was a 
Scotchman by birth, a man of general intelligence and accom- 
plished manners. He settled among the Indians at an early 
period of his life, and married a native, who was, perhaps, 
one-quarter Cherokee. Mr. Ross brought up a large family 



and, being a man of means, spared no pains in their education. 
His sons were all men of respectable attainments and his 
daughters accomplished women. 

Colonel Ross was from his youth a man of sober habits, 
thoughtful and meditative. He soon became a favorite in his 
nation and was honored with high positions. Before the 
Cherokees removed West he was elected principal chief. The 
interests of the nation occupied most of his time ; and no chief, 
president, or governor more intensely studied or more assid- 
uously labored to protect the rights and promote the welfare 
of his fellow citizens than did Colonel Ross. Under his wise 
administration the Cherokees rapidly advanced in civilization. 
Agriculture, the mechanical arts, the education of the youth, 
and a wholesome system of jurisprudence marked their prog- 

Not the least important step forward was the reception of 
the gospel by the Cherokees. And here the people had the 
approval of their wise and patriotic leader. Mr. Ross was 
always favorably inclined toward the Christian religion, and 
long before he left the East his house was open to the mis- 
sionary as a place of public worship. He is now a devoted 
and faithful Christian and an active member of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, and is exerting a most salutary in- 
fluence upon his people. 

Comely in person, grave and dignified in manner; well 
informed in matters pertaining to government, and possessing 
large intelligence on general subjects, he commands the respect 
of the most enlightened statesmen of our country. In his 
domestic relations he is kind, gentle, and happy. One occu- 
pying his position and filling up his measure with such perfec- 
tion has not failed to accomplish much good. Perhaps few 
men in the present century have done more for their nation 
than has this distinguished chief. Among the great men of 
America the future historian will assign to Colonel Ross a 
prominent position. 

Many of the facts of this article were first printed in the 
Home Circle in 1859. 

Conferences of 1850 and 185 i. 

The twenty-seventh session of the Conference was 
held in Abingdon, Va., beginning October 2, 1850, 
Bishop Capers President, and David R. McAnally 
Secretary. This is the Conference at which the writer 
was received into the traveling connection. From this 
time forward he mingles as an associate with the 
Holston preachers and becomes a personal witness of 
many things he shall say of them. 

The committee appointed at the last Conference to 
collect and arrange the files of the Conference reported 
as follows : 

We have examined the old trunk, and found its contents, 
with some exceptions, in such a condition as rendered the 
construction of an accurate file of them wholly impracticable. 
We are utterly unable to find any files of papers whatever for 
the years 1824, 1825, and 1828. In addition to this fact, we 
found many papers in promiscuous rolls and without date. 
Also we have been unable to find any Journal of the Confer- 
ence prior to the year 1836. According to the authority con- 
ferred upon us, we have procured a trunk at a cost of $2 for 
the future use of the Conference. In view of all the facts, we 
offer for the action of the Conference the following resolution : 

Resolved, That this Conference will not receive and adopt 
any paper designed for its regular files unless it be properly 
dated and signed officially or otherwise as may be most proper. 

Resolved, That this Conference require all brethren among 
its members who shall write any instrument which may belong 
to the Conference files to write such instrument with good, 
durable ink. C. D. Smith, 


Abingdon, Va., October 2, 1850. 



The primitive Church published a book entitled "The 
Acts of the Apostles." Some one has suggested an- 
other book to be entitled "The Resolutions of the 
Preachers." This would evidently be a voluminous 
book, full of holy but stillborn purposes. These reso- 
lutions seemed to have been soon forgotten, and the 
Conference trunk has many dateless documents 
which cannot be referred to any particular year.. Thus 
much important history has gone under the wave of 
oblivion. I am happy to say, however, that the Journal 
embracing the minutes of the Conferences from 1824 
to 1836 were eventually found and are now in the Con- 
ference trunk. 

Fortunately for the Church, the Secretaries have for 
a long time been in the habit of recording in the Jour- 
nal all the proceedings of the Conference, including the 
reports of the committees. This is slavish work, and 
it would be right, I think, to provide a reasonable 
financial compensation for such drudgery. 

The General Conference of 1866 adopted the fol- 
lowing resolutions : 

Resolved, first, That the Secretaries of the several Annual 
Conferences be and are hereby instructed to record in their 
Conference Journals respectively all the acts of the Confer- 
ence of every kind whatever in consecutive order of their occur- 
ence, or in ah appendix; especially of all complaints, charges, 
and specifications, with the decisions in all such cases ; and also 
of all resolutions, reports of committees, statistics, memoirs of 
deceased ministers, the appointments of preachers, and what- 
ever else enters into and constitutes a complete historical rec- 
ord of each annual session. 

Resolved, second, That the several Annual Conferences be 
and they are hereby instructed to require their Secretaries to 


conform their Journals to the plan indicated in the preceding 

This was a wise enactment ; and while it has devolved 
great labor upon the Secretaries, it has prevented the 
scattering and the loss of Conference documents such 
as is complained of above. 

Bishop Capers was requested to deliver a memorial 
sermon of Bishop Bascom, which he did on the Sab- 
bath of the Conference. At the General Conference 
of 1850, held in St. Louis, Mo., Henry Biddleman 
Bascom was elected a bishop of the Church, but in a 
short time thereafter he died of cholera. He was a 
Christian and a gentleman 'of high type and one of 
the greatest orators of any age or country. I heard 
the memorial sermon, and it was worthy of the great 
man whom it memorialized. 

In the files of the Conference of 1850 I find a letter 
to Bishop Capers from E. W. Sehon, Missionary Sec- 
retary, written from Louisville, Ky. The indorsement 
on the envelope shows that the postage, which was paid 
in advance, was twenty cents, just ten times what the 
postage on such a letter would be now. 

The files also contain a communication to the Con- 
ference from Charles F. Deems, written from Greens- 
boro, N. C, calling attention to the Southern Meth- 
odist Pulpit, a periodical which he was conducting, 
and he asked for contributions of sermons. This pub- 
lication was continued only a few years, but it put upon 
record a number of valuable sermons. Following the 
reading of this communication, the Conference adopted 
resolutions offered by S. Patton and R. W. Patty de- 
claring the Southern Methodist Pulpit worthy of the 


patronage and support of the ministers and members of 
the Church. • 

A communication was received from Professor Jo- 
seph H. Price, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of 
the recently established school at Strawberry Plains, 
conveying resolutions of the Board. The resolutions 
named the school Strawberry Plains High School, and 
expressed a willingness on the part of the Board to 
have the school become a Conference school on the 
terms that had been dictated by the Conference. The 
school was conditionally adopted by the Conference, 
and a committee was appointed to confer with the 

The Minutes show that Creed Fulton was President 
of Holston College from 1847 to 1848, when he be- 
came Superintendent of Strawberry Plains High 
School, which position he held till 185 1, when he was 
again appointed Agent of Emory and Henry College. 
However, after the first year, his title was changed to 

The Conference ordered a standing committee on 
missions, and the presiding elders were constituted 
that committee. I remember that at the next Confer- 
ence the appropriations of this committee became a 
matter of discussion. 

Bishop Capers wrote and presented to the Confer- 
ence a formal message advising the establishment of a 
school for the benefit of the remnants of the Cherokee 
and Catawba Indian tribes within the borders of the 
Conference, numbering in all not less than two thou- 
sand souls. He stated that the Church had done noth- 
ing for these Indians beyond furnishing them with 

CONFERENCES OF 1850 AND 1851. 8/ 

circuit preaching, and that not embracing the entire 
territory occupied by them ; and that one hundred and 
fifty of these Indians belonged to our Church. He 
advised the building of a home for the resident mis- 
sionary, not to cost over $300, so built as to admit of 
enlargement in the future for the accommodation of 
children boarders from a distance. The Conference 
adopted these suggestions. 

At this session the Bishop announced committees of 
examination for the undergraduates for the next year. 
This, I believe, is the first minute of the kind I have 
met with in the Conference Journals. 

If I remember correctly, the Conference was held in 
the Episcopal Church, kindly tendered for that use. 
The Virginia Episcopalians have always been broad. 

At this Conference my schoolmate, Milton Maupin, 
knocked for admission into the traveling connection, 
and was admitted ; but on motion of Thomas K. Cat- 
lett, the motion by which he was admitted was recon- 
sidered, and Mr. Catlett withdrew the recommenda- 
tion. Rumors of imprudent conduct during the ses- 
sion of the Conference on the part of the young man 
had reached the ears of Mr. Catlett, which led to this 
act. These rumors were either mistakes or slanders; 
for I was intimate with Mr. Maupin, and here take 
pleasure in saying that he was a young man of re- 
markable prudence and a high sense of social propriety, 
as well as of deep piety and thorough consecration to 
God. His aged father had brought his son a circuit 
"horse; and sadly the father and the son rode away 
from the seat of the Conference, deeply sensible of 
the wrong that had been done, but without a murmur;* 


Mr. Maupin afterwards joined the traveling connec- 
tion in Texas, and traveled there several years. He 
was then transferred to the Holston Conference, where 
he did good work up to the time of his death. I wish 
here simply to add that he was as saintly a young man 
as I ever knew. 

Catlett and others opposed my admission into the 
Conference; and if they had succeeded, the whole 
course of my life would probably have been changed, 
for I fear that I would not have had grace enough to 
follow the example of my saintly schoolmate. 

Admitted on trial: John D. Baldwin, John Cox, David P. 
Hunt, Richard N. Price, David Sullins, Edwin Wexler, Lemuel 
C White.. 

Located: Philip Anderson, William T. Dowell, Martin C. 
Robinson, R. Dulaney Wells, Rufus M. Whaley. 

Superannuated: David Adams, Stephen D. Adams, John 
Barringer, Coleman Campbell, James dimming, Jesse Cun- 
nyngham, Robertson Gannaway, Eli K. Hutsell, Thomas K. 
Munsey, Conaro D. Smith, Thomas Wilkerson, Leander Wil- 

Died: James Y. Crawford, James Dixon, Joseph H. Peck, 
Ransom M. Moore. 

Traveling preachers, 99 ; local preachers, 339. 

Numbers in society: White, 35,831; colored, 3,645; Indian, 
140. Total, 39,616. Increase, 2,881. 

Collected for superannuates, etc., $322. Appropriated to 
bishops, $225; to superannuates, $44; to widows and orphans, 


Collected for missions, $1,952.67; for Sunday school books, 


At the Conference of 1849 a decrease in the mem-' 
bership of 3,891 was reported. At this Conference an 
increase of 2,881 is reported. These figures evidently 

CONFERENCES OF 185O AND 1 85 1. 89 

show that considerable mistakes were made in the re- 
ports of numbers in society at these Conferences. The 
increase in the one case and the decrease in the other 
are evidently fictitious. In this case, however, one er- 
ror partially corrects the other. 

Jameb Y. Crawford and James Dixon, both superior 
men, were noticed in Volume III. 1 

Philip Anderson was a man of ripe scholarship. In 
family prayers at home he was accustomed to read the 
morning and evening lessons from the Greek Testa- 
ment. He was the son of Rev. Nathaniel and Mariana 
Anderson. Nathaniel was ordained deacon in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church by Bishop Francis Asbury 
November 27, 1795. Philip Anderson was born in 
Chesterfield County, Va., August 12, 1801. He was 
licensed to preach in 1824. He was ordained deacon 
in Norfolk, Va., February 19, 1826, by Bishop William 
McKendree. He was ordained elder in Raleigh, N. C, 
March 2, 1828, by Bishop Joshua Soule. He married 
Susan Sparrow in May, 1831. He traveled in Virginia 
and North Carolina for some years, occupying some of 
the most important stations. .In 1849 he came from 
the East and became a member of the Holston Confer- 
ence. His Holston appointments were Abingdon and 
Newbern Circuits and the presidency of Holston Col- 
lege one year. After his location, he purchased a beau- 
tiful farm near Cedarville, Va., where he lived till the 
day of his death. He was only a partial success as a 
farmer ; and he seemed not to know how to adapt him- 
self to the whims, fancies, and prejudices of the plain 

J See pages 87 and 165, Vol. III. 


people in his neighborhood. He preached a vigorous 
sermon, characterized more by thought and learning 
than by pathos. Mr. Joe Anderson, his only son and 
heir, lived in Bristol, and reared an excellent family. 
One of his daughters became the wife of that energetic 
man, Rev. J. O. Straley, the second founder of Emory 
and Henry College. Mr. Anderson died April 26, 1871. 

John Whaley, a local preacher, and Rufus M. Stevens 
were half brothers. Rufus M. Whaley was a son of 
John Whaley and was a man of intelligence and above 
mediocrity as a preacher. After his location, he went 
South or West. 

Joseph H. Peck was a son of Looney Peck, Esq., an 
excellent citizen of Mossy Creek, Tenn., and a useful 
member of the Methodist Church. "Uncle Looney," 
as he was familiarly called, was an excellent class 
leader, was gifted in prayer, and he contributed liber- 
ally to the support of the gospel. Dr. Burnett, the 
quondam husband of the famous Frances Hodgson 
Burnett, was his grandson. I knew Joseph H. person- 
ally; he once traveled Abingdon Circuit. He was of 
slender build, was a victim of consumption, and passed 
early to his reward. He was blameless, harmless, and a 
son of God without rebuke. 

I knew Randolph Dulaney Wells intimately. He 
was an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile. 
His location was caused by ill health. He married a 
daughter of Joshua Roberts, Esq., of Asheville, N. C. 
When I was stationed in Rogersville, in 1854-56, I 
boarded with him a portion of the time; and his life, 
as I. observed it, adorned the doctrine of Christ. -His 
precious wife died a most triumphant death during my 

CONFERENCES OF 185O AND 1 85 1. 91 

pastorate. He married again. Mr. Wells was a mer- 
chant, and he illustrated the fact that an honest secular 
employment is not inconsistent with the sublimest 
piety. On a certain Sabbath I performed the cere- 
monies connected with the burial of an infant of Rev. 
William C. Graves. Mrs. Wells attended. As we re- 
turned to her home she remarked to me : "I feel that I 
shall be the next person to be buried in that graveyard." 
I endeavored in vain to cause her to believe that her 
impression was a hallucination. At that time she 
seemed to be in good health. But in a day or two she 
took seriously sick, and on the following Sabbath her 
remains were lowered into a grave in the same grave- 
yard. Though during life she had been a quiet pro- 
fessor of 'religion, when she came to die she was won- 
derfully blessed, praised God aloud, and said: "If I 
had the world before me, I could preach." 

The Conference met in its twenty-eighth session 
October I, 185 1, in Athens, Tenn., Bishop Andrew 
President, David R. McAnally Secretary, and Conaro 
D. Smith Assistant Secretary. 

A memorial from sundry persons of Asheville, N. C., 
offering to turn over to the Conference an institution 
of learning in that place was read and referred to the 
Committee on Education. The school was situated on 
a few acres of land in Asheville, which at a later date 
became the property of the Holston Conference and 
was the site of Holston Conference Female College. 
The property was accepted by the Conference, and the 
Principal of the school, Rev. Erastus Rowley, was 
admitted on trial into the Conference and appointed 
President of the school, named in the Minutes the West- 


ern Carolina Female College. About this time, to in- 
crease the patronage of the school, the Conference 
adopted a scholarship plan, which was worked up by 
its agent, Rev. Edward E. Gillenwaters. This plan 
gave board and tuition on such cheap terms that there 
was a plethora of patronage, but a dearth of finances. 
Rev. John Carlisle, of South Carolina, was elected 
President of the college, which position he held a few 
years. Under his administration the school was large 
and admirably conducted, but the scholarship plan 
seemed destined to produce irretrievable disaster. 
Upon his resignation, Rev. Anson W. Cummings was 
called from the Odd Fellows' Female College at Rog- 
ersville, Tenn. He took charge of the school, now 
called Holston Conference Female College, in its cri- 
sis, and by his superior financial skill succeeded in 
running the school to a paying basis with nearly two 
hundred girls up to the Civil War. The deficiency of 
income from the scholarships was offset by extra 
charges in the departments of music and art, admission 
to which was not granted by the scholarships. Dr. 
Cummings entered upon his duties as President of the 
college in the summer of 1855, and continued in this 
position up to the Civil War. The school was sus- 
pended during the war. After the war the property 
fell into the hands of a joint stock company. The 
stock was bought up at reduced rates by Rev. James 
Atkins, Jr., and finally passed out of the hands of the 
Church. However, immediately after the war, Rev. 
J. S. Kennedy, D.D., was chosen to the presidency of 
the college and conducted an excellent school for a 
number of years. 


Complaints reached the Conference to the effect that 
W. C. Graves, while in charge of the Greeneville Cir- 
cuit, had circulated the publications of the American 
Sunday School Union; but after explanations by the 
accused, his character was passed. I remember some- 
thing of this case. Mr. Graves had a considerable 
family. His ministerial salary was usually inadequate 
for his support, and he was accustomed to sell good 
books to do good and supplement his salary. For this 
reason he handled the publications of the American 
Sunday School Union. It is creditable to the preachers 
of the Conference that they took a liberal and catholic 
view of the question. I have heard the following story 
connected with Graves's incumbency of the Greene- 
ville Circuit. His family lived not far away from the 
home of Mrs. Catherine Williams, in Greeneville, who 
was a member of the Episcopal Church and in good 
circumstances. One day she happened to call upon the 
Graves family, and found them making a meal on 
cushaw and sweet milk, with no bread or meat or other 
viands. She immediately went home and sent them a 
waiter loaded with the best things of. her bountiful 
table. It was on the premises of this lady that Gen. 
John Morgan was slain during the Civil War, but Mrs. 
Williams had no responsibility for this deed. 

A complaint had been made that the Missionary 
Committee, consisting of the presiding elders, had 
been partial to themselves in the appropriation of 
money to domestic missions, and at this session the 
presiding elders presented a paper to the Conference 
requesting the appointment of a committee to investi- 
gate the grounds of this complaint. The paper was 



signed by Catlett, Stringfield, Fleming, Stevens, Has- 
kew, Winton, Hicks, and Atkins. In response to this 
request the Conference appointed a committee, consist- 
ing of C. Collins, James dimming, Jesse Cunnyngham, 
U. Keener, and J. H. Brunner. The committee report- 
ed, and the report completely vindicated the presiding 
elders, who had exhibited great fairness and disinter- 
estedness in these appropriations. But the committee 
suggested that for the sake of peace and harmony the 
amount appropriated to missions be divided hereafter 
between the presiding elder and the missionary pro 
rata according to their respective claims. The report 
was adopted by a vote of fifty-seven to one. 

A memorial from sundry persons of Greeneville, 
Tenn., on the question of establishing a female college 
was read and referred to the Committee on Education. 
A committee appointed at the last Conference to take 
into consideration the propriety of establishing a fe- 
male college reported, and the report was referred to 
the Committee on Education. I have not been able to 
find -this report, and I cannot say what action was 
taken on it. But the memorial from Greeneville and 
the Conference action mentioned here show that in the 
Tennessee and Virginia portions of the Conference 
there was at that time a growing sentiment in favor 
of higher female education. This sentiment material- 
ized later in the establishment of Martha Washington, 
Sullins, and Centenary Female Colleges, and other 
schools which have been conducted under the auspices 
of the Conference devoted partly to the education of 
girls. This movement has contributed greatly to the 

CONFERENCES OF 1850 AND 1851. 95 

prosperity of Holston Methodism and the development 
of a higher civilization in this hill country of ours. 

Zachary Munsey, grandfather of the distinguished 
William E. Munsey, had been expelled from the Church 
by the Pearisburg Quarterly Conference, and he had 
appealed to the Annual Conference. The case was 

Everything connected with the Indians of the country 
is necessarily interesting to the average reader, and I 
therefore introduce here the report made to the Con- 
ference at this session by the Superintendent of the 
Echota Mission, in extreme Western Carolina. The 
Conference at its last session had resolved to establish 
a school for the benefit of the Indians in that section. 
Accordingly Ulrich Keener was appointed to the In- 
dian Mission with the understanding that he was to 
serve the mission as pastor and also take charge of 
the school. William Hicks was appointed presiding 
elder of the Asheville District and Superintendent of 
the Indian Mission. The following, with a slight edit- 
ing, is the report of the Superintendent: 

At the last session of our Conference six hundred dollars 
was put into my hands for the Indian Mission in the Ashe- 
ville District. Of this amount, the Mission Committee author- 
ized the Superintendent to receive $75, which he did. The 
teacher, Rev. U. Keener, was to be paid $200. This amount he 
received. The interpreter was to have $25.' This amount was 
paid to him. These payments amounted to $300. The other 
$300 was to be appropriated to the building of a dwelling house 
for the teacher and a schoolhouse. For two reasons, satis- 
factory to the Superintendent, no buildings were erected. A 
memorial was gotten up and sent to the Legislature of the 
State praying for the removal of the Indians to their brethren 


in the West. . . . Till this question was settled the Superin- 
tendent did not feel willing to lay out missionary money in 
the erection of mission houses. This question was settled 
sometime in the summer. ... As soon as this question was 
settled the Superintendent would have commenced the erection 
of the required buildings but for the fact that the Indian Agent, 
Mr. William Thomas, gave him notice that he intended to make 
an arrangement which would change the residence of many 
of the Indians by removals from five to fifteen miles distant 
from their then present locations. The Superintendent could 
not, therefore, tell where the building should be located. For 
that reason no buildings have been erected. . . . Very soon 
after the adjournment of our last Conference the Superintend- 
ent visited the mission and found the Indians exceedingly 
anxious that the school should commence immediately; and 
as the Indian Agent proposed to repair the Indian meeting- 
house so as to make it suitable for school purposes (proposed 
to do this gratuitously), and also offered a house rent free, for 
the teacher to live in, it was determined to commence the 
school as soon as the repairs on the meetinghouse should be 
completed. The school went into operation in December. 
From that time to the close of the year the teacher's whole 
time, except Saturdays and Sundays, was to be taken up in 
teaching. He could not do the work of preacher and pastor 
among the Indians, especially as one preaching place was thirty 
or forty miles from his residence. The Superintendent, there- 
fore, found it necessary to employ some one to do the work 
of pastor. Rev. J. B. McMahon was employed three-quarters 
of the year. For this service he was paid $75 out of the 
amount for the erection of mission houses. This left in the 
hands of the Superintendent $225. As the -school increased in 
number from twenty or thirty the first day to eighty scholars, 
. . . the Superintendent employed as assistant teacher the 
daughter of Rev. Ulrich Keener, who is well qualified for the 
work. She was employed only four months, however, for 
which time she was paid $40. This left in the Superintendent's 
hands $185. One of our Indian preachers (a very poor man) 
had sent his children to school prior to the commencement of 

CONFERENCES OF 185O AND 1 85 1. 97 

our school. He had not been able to pay the teacher in full, 
and as his character was likely to suffer on that account, the 
Superintendent appropriated $2 toward the liquidation of that 
claim. This left $183, and this amount is still in his hands, 
to be disposed of as the Conference or the Mission Committee 
may direct. 

The school has prospered beyond our most sanguine ex- 
pectations. Pupils have been in attendance of all ages from 
five to fifty years. They have shown great aptness for learn- 
ing. Some have commenced reading. . . . The Superintend- 
ent felt the more secure and justifiable in diverting a part of 
the appropriation from the original object by the fact that he 
got the Indian Agent to promise to build a schoolhouse and a 
boarding house and do half the work on the dwelling house 
when the time shall have come for the erection . of these 
buildings. ... In view of the prosperity of the school and 
the various interests connected therewith, the Conference is 
requested to continue the effort to give our Indians an English 

As Brother Keener has given satisfaction to the Superin- 
tendent, the Indian Agent, and the Indians, it is hoped that he 
will be reappointed to the school. 

As Mr. Thomas is willing to deed to the trustees for the 
use of the school a sufficient quantity of land for the purpose, 
the Conference is requested to establish a manual labor school 
among the Indians. William Hicks, 

Superintendent Indian Mission. 

October 2, 185 1. 

The report was adopted. 

In the Journal of this year (1851) I found the fol- 
lowing minutes : 

Brother W. G. E. Cunnyngham, being called on, made some 
appropriate arid feeling remarks in reference to his views and 
impressions respecting his laboring in the China Mission, after 
which, on motion, it was resolved that this Conference do 
recommend Brother Cunnyngham to the bishop having charge 



of the China Mission as a suitable person to be employed in 
that work. 

Admitted on trial: George Stewart, W. W. Smith, John 
Boring, G. W. Roark, R. H. Guthrie, Sewell Philips, Charles 
Mitchell, Washington Boring, Erastus Rowley, James R. Long. 

Readmitted: Andrew Gass. 

Located : William H. Kelley, Andrew G Hunter, W. Jones, 
Miles Foy, C. W. Charlton. 

Discontinued: W. W. Haynes. 

Superannuated : Robertson Gannaway, Thomas Wilkerson, 
Eli K. Hutsell, James Dixon, Stephen D. Adams, David Ad- 
ams, Jesse Cunnyngham, James Cumming, J. W. Miller. 

Left without appointment on account of ill health: R. W. 
Pickens, John M. Kelley, S. B. Harwell, T. Sullins, William 
R. Long," George Ekin. 

Transferred : D. R. McAnally, to the St. Louis Conference, 
and appointed Editor of the St: Louis Christian Advocate; 
J. R. Bellamy, to the Eastern Texas Conference. 

Died : John Barringer, Leander Wilson. 

Numbers in society: White, 36,657; colored, 3,796. Total, 
40,453. Increase, 837. (In the Journal no figures are given for 

Local preachers, 319; traveling preachers, 101. 

Collected for missions, $2,087.29. 

As William H. Kelley returned to the Conference 
after this, I will reserve mention of him for a page 
farther on. He is a man of good family, has an un- 
spotted record as a Christian minister, and is now 
(1909) in the sear and yellow leaf. 

William H. Rogers and Andrew C. Hunter preceded 
Dr. Reagan and myself on Asheville Circuit in 1850. 
Both of them were popular. Rogers, though eccen- 
tric and egotistic, had mixed freely and cordially among 
the people and was loved. But Hunter was exceedingly- 
popular, He was gentle and loving, but at the same 

CONFERENCES OF 1850 AND 1 85 1. 99 

time wonderfully aggressive and energetic in the sal- 
vation of souls. Largely through his influence the 
circuit was in a revival flame at most of the appoint- 
ments. Hunter was a good pastor, visiting and pray- 
ing with the people and talking to sinners about their 
souls at every convenient opportunity. I met him a 
short time after my arrival on the circuit, and I shall 
never forget his advice to me as a young preacher. He 
said : "Brother Price, never go into the pulpit without 
taking your Heavenly Father with you." This advice 
did me a great deal of good. As Mr. Hunter reentered 
the Conference after this, I shall reserve a particular 
notice of him for a future page. 

Miles Foy was born in Jones County, N. C, March 
21, 1811; and died in Mount Airy, N. C, March 10, 
1895. He was the son of Enoch and Annapolis Foy. 
While young he attended an academy in Newbern, N. 
C, and afterwards took a partial course in medicine in 
that town. His grandfather, James Foy, was one of 
three brothers who fled from France in the time of the 
Huguenot persecution under Louis XIV. (who, by the 
by, was a cousin of theirs) and settled in America. 
James settled in Onslow County, N. C. He had four 
sons and two daughters. One of these sons, Enoch, 
settled in Jones County, N. C. Miles's grandmother 
was before marriage Elizabeth Ward, a first cousin to 
Elizabeth, Queen of England. His mother was Annap- 
olis Sanderson. 

Miles Foy was converted July 16, 1826, licensed to 
preach June 1, 1829, and joined the Virginia Confer- 
ence the same year with Bishop Doggett and thirteen 
others. He alternated between the regular work and 


the local relation in North Carolina and Virginia up to 
1845, when he became a member of the Holston Con- 
ference and was appointed to Marion Circuit. His 
Holston appointments after this were Knoxville Sta- 
tion, Blountville, Jonesboro, Greeneville, and Marion 
Circuits. In 185 1 he located again and entered upon 
the practice of medicine in Marion, Va. He was 
readmitted in the Holston Conference in 1859 and was 
appointed to Tazewell Circuit. His health failing, he 
located at the close of the year and removed to Salem, 
N. C. In his local relation he resumed the practice of 
medicine, and in war times conducted a hotel. He en- 
tered the North Carolina Conference in 1868, and trav- 
eled several circuits. He superannuated in 1880. In 
his local and superannuate relations he made a habit 
of preaching every Sunday when able to do so. He 
was always a frail man in health. He was a fine char- 
acter. His appointments show that he was a superior 
preacher. He was a great revivalist. 

In the editorial correspondence of the Statesville 
Christian Advocate (1866) I find the following per- 
sonal notice : 

The next day we dropped into the home of Rev. M. Foy, 
of the Conference, in the superannuate relation, and spent 
some time pleasantly with his Christian family. He is full of 
years and of the Holy Ghost. He is venerable, consecrated, 
patient, submissive to the divine will, thougjh as anxious as 
ever, and, if possible, more so, to preach and call sinners to 
repentance. *He believes in "Holy Ghost religion," and shouts, 
and wants everybody else to shout. There will be shouting in 
heaven when he gets there. 

Salisbury, the first circuit traveled by Mr. Foy, was 
three hundred miles around. At one of his camp 


meetings in Bedford County, Va., John Early, after- 
wards bishop, was converted. Mr. Foy's locations 
were not the result of fickleness but of uncertain health. 
His first wife was Mrs. Martha Hawk, of Newbern, 
N. C, who died without issue. His second was Miss 
Meekie Ann Graves, daughter of General Sullivan 
Graves and granddaughter of Gov. Jesse Franklin. 
She was the admiration of her acquaintances. She 
died leaving four children — two sons and two daugh- 
ters. One of the sons, James Henry, died in a Confed- 
erate hospital during the Civil War. The other son, 
William Graves, was for many years a druggist in 
Mount Airy, but now (1909) gives some attention to 
farming. The daughters are still alive in Mount Airy. 
His third wife was Miss Selina Nelson, by whom he 
had one son, Edward Crawford. This son is now a 
merchant in Mount Airy, N. C, and he deserves great 
credit for the brotherly, and thoughtful manner in 
which he takes care of his half sisters, who live in the 
same town. 

A brief notice of John Barringer was given in Vol- 
ume III., page 296. 

Leander Wilson was from Yancey County, N. C. 
He was a man of moderate talents, but faithful and 
useful. I remember him as a meek and quiet man, of 
good manners and prudent behavior. 

Charles Wellington Charlton was born in Mont- 
gomery County, Va., June 3, 1829; and died in Knox- 
ville, Tenn., July 13, 1889. His funeral services were 
conducted by Revs. R. G. Waterhouse, James Park, 
and others. He was educated partly at Washington 
College, East Tennessee, and partly at Emory and 


Henry College, Virginia. He joined the Methodist 
Church at Thorn Spring Camp Ground, Pulaski Coun- 
ty, Va., in 1842; and in a few days thereafter in a 
private room in Wytheville he had a sensible evidence 
of pardoning love. He was very happy, and never 
thereafter doubted his conversion. Before the close 
of the year he was licensed to preach. He was ad- 
mitted into the Holston Conference in 1843, and did 
efficient work as a traveling preacher till his location, 
in 185 1. As a young preacher he was zealous and 
popular, and soon came to be regarded as one of the 
rising men of the Conference. Of handsome person 
and agreeable manners, of a warm social tempera- 
ment, ready and fluent in the pulpit, he naturally be- 
came a favorite not only within the circle of his Church 
but in the wider field of general society. He had two 
reasons for locating: his deceased father's unsettled 
estate and his wife's health. In 1848 he married Miss 
Rebecca Elizabeth, daughter of Col. George W. 
Churchwell; and with her he lived in great harmony 
to the day of his death. After this he commenced 
farming on the south side of the Tennessee River, near 
Knoxville, where he remained two years. He then 
purchased a farm five miles north of Knoxville, where 
he remained seven years. Here he conceived and put 
into practice one of the pet notions of his life, that of 
establishing a stock and dairy farm. In this, as in 
everything else, he was ahead of his times, too pro- 
gressive for the section in which he lived, and the re- 
sult did not meet his expectations. While on this farm 
he introduced the Jersey stock of cattle into East Ten- 
nessee; and while he personally reaped but little ad- 

CONFERENCES OF 1850 AND 1 85 1. I03 

vantage from the fact, the effect in the appearance and 
milking qualities of the cows of the country was no- 
ticeable for fifty years. It was the initiation of a move- 
ment that has. supplanted the scrub breeds of the sec- 
tion by the blooded stocks of which our farmers now 
boast. While at the first-named farm Brother Charlton 
was appointed Commissioner of River Improvement 
with Mr. William G. Brownlow. In 1861 he sold his 
farm and invested the proceeds in cotton. After the 
war he sold his cotton and found himself possessed of 
some thirty thousand dollars in gold. He then went to 
South Georgia, rented a large farm, and engaged in 
cotton-planting, an untried business to him. This 
venture proved a failure; and at the end of the year 
he found that he had left about means enough to de- 
fray the expenses of himself and wife to Missouri, 
where through the influence of his friend, Dr. D. R. 
McAnally, he procured an agency in the American 
Sunday School Union, which position he held two 
years. He spent all his time in preaching, lecturing, 
and traveling in the interest of Sunday schools. In 
this work the Lord blessed him financially, and he saved 
money enough to purchase a little farm in Illinois. 
This farm he afterwards exchanged for a bottom farm 
near Leadvale, Tenn. It seems that when he was at- 
tending to the Lord's business he prospered financially ; 
but when he was attending to his own business he failed 
financially, to say nothing about how it was with him 
spiritually. Before the war he owned several valuable 
lots in Knoxville, which would have been a fortune to 
him if he had retained them. These he sold for Confed- 
erate money just before he left the city, in 1863. It is 


due to. him to say that he never murmured or repined 
at his financial mistakes and losses. He related to me 
the history of his cotton venture in Georgia in the 
most cheerful manner and without expressing a parti- 
cle of sadness or bitter reflection on himself or on a 
kind Providence. Indeed, Brother Charlton was not 
a sordid man. He was anxious to make money only 
for its legitimate uses ; and he gloried in the energy, 
push, intelligence, and skill necessary to business suc- 
cess rather than in the sordid results of these qualities. 
But in his case the battle was not to the strong nor the 
race to the swift. Though an active Whig, he was 
appointed postmaster at Knoxville by President Buch- 
anan in 1859, and was continued in this position by 
Mr. Davis, President of the Confederate States, till the 
occupation of Knoxville by the Federal troops in 1863. 
During Governor Bates's administration he was ap- 
pointed Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture, Sta- 
tistics, Mines, and Immigration for East Tennessee, 
and assisted in writing up the resources of Tennessee. 
He was continued in this position under Colonel Kille- 
brew's successor, Col. A. J. McWhirter. In this of- 
fice he was active and faithful. He was a journalist 
of considerable experience and ability. In 1862 he 
established the Holston Journal, a denominational pa- 
per, in the interest of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South — a paper of vigor and positiveness, fully alive 
and abreast of the times. Within a few months it leaped 
into the astonishing circulation of ten thousand sub- 
scribers. But its brilliant career necessarily closed on 
the approach of the Federal troops. On leaving Knox- 
ville, in 1863, he accepted a position at Dublin, Va.. un- 


der Major Lacy, who was purchasing supplies for the 
Confederate army, and he remained there till the sur- 
render. After the war Mr. Charlton was connected 
with a number of newspaper enterprises. For a short 
time he was editor of the Daily Knoxville Whig, the 
plant being the property of his brother-in-law, Gen. 
Joseph W. Mabry; but he lost his job by not being 
willing to conform the policy of the paper to the dicta- 
tions of his employer. Mr. Charlton organized the 
Grange movement in East Tennessee, and became edi- 
tor of the Grange Outlook, a paper that attained a 
large circulation in a few months. In connection with 
that paper he established the Daily Age. This paper 
was purchased by the Knoxville Tribune in 1876, and 
Colonel Charlton was made agricultural editor of the 
Weekly Tribune. Later he began the publication of 
the Evening Dispatch, which was sold to the Tribune 
in 188 1. Though not editorially connected with any 
paper after that, he was a constant contributor to a 
number of papers. He was never idle and never ut- 
terly despondent. In disappointment, misfortune, neg- 
lect, and not infrequently res angusta, he toiled on, 
hoped on, hoped ever. As an illustration of his won- 
derful activity and enterprise I mention the following 
facts : He* established the first creamery in the east 
end of the State ; he was the first to introduce Jersey 
cattle into East Tennessee ; and he was the first owner 
and user of a reaper in Knox County. In 1861 Colonel 
Charlton revived the Eastern Division Fair, and it was 
through his efforts kept alive for several years. He 
was foremost in organizing the East Tennessee Farm- 
ers' Convention. He was at first President of that rep- 


resentative body of agriculturists and afterwards its 
Secretary for ten years. His last years were devoted 
to the attraction of immigration to East Tennessee and 
to the city of Knoxville. Living in the heart of this 
growing town, he was its best friend, though not fully 
recognized and appreciated as such at the time. His 
incessant toils in this direction earned for him only a 
scant living; but no hardships, no pressure of want, 
no neglect, no opposition, no ingratitude soured his 
temper or damped the ardor of the public spirit and 
patriotism which glowed in his breast. In his career 
he knew both how to be abased and how to abound. 
Everywhere and in all things he was instructed both 
to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to 
suffer need. As a local preacher Colonel* Charlton was 
always willing and ready to preach, and as far as 
possible he had regular appointments for preaching in 
the country. As a preacher he was above mediocrity — 
thoughts good, language chaste, sentences strong and 
positive. Being a local preacher and a man of secular 
employments and associations, his religion was of that 
hardy sort whose durability depends on its genuine- 
ness. His religion was not a part of his means of 
livelihood ; but it was necessarily a religion of princi- 
ple; not the soft wood that grows in the genial atmos- 
phere of a high salary and popular applause, but the 
hard fiber that gains its slow but solid increments in 
a cloudy sky and a chilly atmosphere. His combative- 
ness was well known. He had a courage inspired by 
positive convictions. He was always ready to contend 
against the wrong as he conceived it. His natural 
courage was occasionally tested and was always equal 


to the emergency. He was quick to resent a wrong, 
and as ready to forgive it. One of the highest moral 
qualities is firmness, which he possessed in a large 
degree. Frankness, honesty, sincerity were prominent 
traits of his character. He was a man of warm at- 
tachments, a clubable man. His friendships were 
warm and demonstrative. He was eminently charita- 
ble to the poor. No condition of poverty or vice was 
so low as not to appeal to his sympathies. No preacher 
in Knoxville more frequently prayed at the bedside of 
outcasts dying in their sins. He was one of the best 
husbands in the world. The sensation produced by 
his death, the extensive and favorable notices of the 
press, the large meeting of citizens assembled in the 
city to adopt resolutions of respect, and the large, 
mournful procession that followed his remains to their 
charnel house all betokened the high esteem in which 
he was held where he was best known. The mainte- 
nance of morality and piety in the midst of such varied 
secular cares, and especially in a city where, as in 
most cities, a local preacher is placed at a disadvan- 
tage, is little in demand and little caressed by the 
Church, with "loves unrequited and sorrows untold," 
was one of the best tests of his fidelity to the great 
"Head over all things to the Church." No pressure of 
business ever caused him to neglect family prayer. 
During his last illness he was visited by Revs. John 
B. Carnes and R. G. Waterhouse. When they prayed 
with him, he responded heartily. When Brother 
Carnes visited him, he grasped his hand and praised 
God. His sickness was such as to produce despond- 
ency, but he was uniformly uncomplaining. In his 


last hours he asked his wife if the physicians had given 
up all hope of his recovery. She answered that they 
had not said so to her. "But," said he, "I see you are 
uneasy." She replied, "Yes, I am very uneasy," and 
inquired if he could trust God now. "O yes," he re- 
plied; "I have always trusted him." These were, 
perhaps, his last connected utterances. At what is 
now Lenoir City there lived a most excellent family 
of Lenoir Brothers. They were farmers and manufac- 
turers. They were wealthy and wonderfully benevo- 
lent and hospitable. During the war Colonel Charlton 
went to Lenoirs' to purchase a milk cow. Mr. Wil- 
liam Lenoir, the senior brother, took him to the cow 
lot and directed him to point out the cow he wanted. 
He selected one, but Mr. Lenoir said: "I can't part 
with that cow/' He selected another with the same 
result. After a while he chose a cow which Mr. 
Lenoir was willing to sell. "What will you give for 
that cow?" inquired Mr. Lenoir. Charlton replied: 
"I don't want to price your property. What will you 
take for her?" "What will you give for her?" re- 
peated Mr. Lenoir. "As you insist on my making you 
an offer," said Charlton, "I will give you a hundred 
dollars for her." "All right," said Lenoir, "she is 
your cow." As they returned to the house to con- 
summate the deal Lenoir remarked : "It seems to me, 
Mr. Charlton, that you gave too much for that cow." 
"It may be that I did," replied Charlton, "but I think 
she is worth the money." After going a little farther, 
Mr. Lenoir remarked again: "Mr. Charlton, it seems 
to me that you gave a rousing price for that cow." 
"That may be so," replied Charlton, "but I am willing 


to take the cow at that price." When they reached the 
house, Charlton laid down on the table five twenty- 
dollar bills, when Lenoir returned him one of the 
bills, saying: "I did not intend to charge you more 
than eighty dollars for that cow." 

David Rice McAnally was born in Grainger County, 
Tenn., February 17, 1810; converted in 1822; licensed 
to preach in 1828; admitted on trial into the Holston 
Conference in 1829; transferred to the St. Louis Con- 
ference in 185 1 ; and died in St. Louis July it, 1895. 
He was a son of Rev. Charles McAnally, of whom a 
sketch was given in Volume III., pages 239-244, of 
this work. His education was respectable for his day 
and section. He was a man of great self-confidence 
and prodigious energy. His vigorous body and power- 
ful mind were never idle. Somewhat pompous and 
apparently arrogant, he was nevertheless a man of 
prayer and fervent piety. He was an able preacher, 
and as an editor he was successful and popular. He, 
perhaps, did more to build up Methodism in Missouri 
and adjacent States than any other one man. He was 
a prolific writer. Besides hundreds of thoughtful edi- 
torials and thousands of paragraphs, he was the author 
of several volumes : The "Life and Times of Samuel 
Patton, D.D.," the "Life and Times of William Pat- 
ton," the "Life and Labors of Bishop Marvin," the 
"History of Methodism in Missouri," and the "Biogra- 
phy of Mrs. Ramsey." His biographies were really re- 
sumes of the times in which his heroes lived. Before he 
left the Holston Conference he had additional experi- 
ence as the editor of a paper in North Carolina. He 
was also for some years in charge of the East Tennessee 


Female Institute, in Knoxville. For many years he did 
good work on circuits and stations. All this time he was 
a hard student and omnivorous reader, thus preparing 
himself for the wider usefulness of editor of a great 
paper. When the Civil War began, Dr. McAnally 
espoused the cause of the South, but, wishing not 
to involve his paper in trouble with the military 
authorities, he refrained from all partisan utter- 
ances. But his prudence saved neither his paper nor 
himself; for in 1861 he was arrested and imprisoned, 
and his paper was suppressed. He remained in prison 
more than a month in the heat of summer in a room 
sixteen feet square, with thirteen other prisoners. He 
was brought before a military commission, charged 
with "giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and by 
such an arrangement of the items and language of the 
department of his paper termed the 'News of the 
Week' as was calculated to encourage the rebels and 
to give them information concerning the movements 
of the Federal armies." After the trial had continued 
several days, he was released on parole. After two 
years, he was again arrested and imprisoned. He was 
notified that he was to be "sent beyond the lines," but 
through the intercession of two prominent military 
officers of the city he was again released on parole. 
The argument used by these officers was that his ban- 
ishment would be equivalent to a reenforcement to the 
Confederate army of five thousand men. Dr. Mc- 
Anally was twice married. His first wife was Maria 
Thompson, a daughter of Dr. William P. Thompson 
and granddaughter of Madam Russell; and his second 
wife was Miss Julia Reeves, daughter of William P. 

CONFERENCES OF 185O AND 1 85 1. Ill 

Reeves, of Washington County, Tenn. In 1858 Dr. 
McAnally, with the help of two or three friends, bought 
a lot and erected a small church in Carondelet, pur- 
chased a home in the immediate vicinity of the church, 
removed to it, and continued to reside there to the 
close of life. For many years he served without salary 
the congregation which worshiped in that church. 
After a while the Conference appointed a preacher 
to that congregation; and Dr. McAnally became a 
member of it, but preached and assisted the pastor 
when requested to do so. His memorial notice in the 
General Minutes is so thoughtful and true that I copy 
portions of it: 

For nearly forty years his lot was cast with us. We miss 
his worthy presence, his wise counsels, and his fatherly ad- 
monitions. Best known by his work as editor of the St. Louis 
Christian Advocate, he also lives in the minds and hearts of 
our people by his character, ministry, and life. A man of 
powerful physique, his bodily presence was an index to the 
massive mental strength which it incarnated. He was an in- 
tellectual athlete, who, when he entered the arena of discus- 
sion, stood ready to hold his own against all comers. Pos- 
sessed of a logical mind, with great powers of analysis and 
synthesis, his mental vision saw through the most' intricate 
problems. With a glance that overlooked no details, he de- 
tected the joints in the armor of his polemical opponents; and 
then, with overwhelming force of resistless logic, expressed 
in rhetorically rounded sentences, swept them from the field. 
Few men, perhaps, in this section possessed so varied a knowl- 
edge of men and things. Whether in the realm of political 
economy, the domain of sociology, the sphere of philosophy, or 
the heights and depths of theology, his reading and study cov- 
ered so wide a range and had so extensive a reach that he might 
have been said to possess an almost encyclopedic knowledge. 
A man of strong convictions, his sturdy Scotch-Irish lineage 


showed itself in the firmness with which he endeavored to sus- 
tain them. Upon his banner, flung to the breeze, was em- 
blazoned "No compromise." He was no reed shaken by the 
wind, but a tower which stood foursquare to every wind that 
blew. Yet while he indulged tb c s strength of character, there 
was a strong undercurrent of tenderness almost womanly in 
its depth and reach. To those who in sorrow and in need of 
aid and counsel approached him the veil of seeming sternness 
was rent ; and the heart, tender and sympathetic, revealed itself. 
To him the widow, the fatherless, the poor, the wretched never 
cried in vain. As a preacher in the prime of life he was 
numbered among the princes of the pulpit. His style was 
peculiarly impressive, his voice deep and full, his commanding 
form lending strength to his utterances. At once didactic, 
expository, hortatory, mighty in the Scriptures, sympathetic 
and pathetic, as well as logical and forcible, fervent in spirit 
and with zeal for the Lord of hosts consuming him, his mes- 
sage came with power. Intellect and emotion responded, 
strong men wept, and audiences were swayed like forest trees 
bending to the breath of the storm king. . . . Editors are 
born, not made. Such was David McAnally. His editorials 
were trenchant and timely. The "News of the Week" column 
was a remarkable feature of the Advocate, which attracted 
attention by its condensed statement of current events pre- 
sented in pithy paragraphs. His articles carried with them 
the impress of personality, being marked not only by great 
ability but evident sincerity and integrity. These things even 
his opponents were compelled to recognize. Mistaken he 
might be, but false to his convictions, never. 

Conferences of 1852 and 1853. 

The twenty-ninth session of the Conference began 
in AshevilLe, N. C, September 29, 1852, Bishop Ca- 
pers President, and C. D. Smith and George W. Alex- 
ander Secretaries. 

The following resolution was adopted: 

Resolved, by the Holston Annual Conference of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal .Church, South, that our beloved brother, C. 
D. Smith, a member of said Conference, having been ap- 
pointed by the authorities of the American Colonization Soci- 
ety an agent for said society, we do hereby heartily and cheer- 
fully recommend him to all among whom he may be called to 
operate in the prosecution of that agency. 

The Methodists of the South always favored the 
American Colonization Society. Their reasons for 
this, I believe, were the following: The free negro 
was not regarded as a very desirable citizen in Amer- 
ica; his opportunities for wealth and position were 
necessarily limited; he was likely to do better in a 
country where he would not labor under the disad- 
vantages of caste, and being transported to Africa, 
he would likely carry with him the ideas of civiliza- 
tion and Christianity which he had acquired in Amer- 
ica and disseminate them among the heathen of his 
own race; and another reason was this: there was 
among the slaveholders of the South a good deal of 
antislavery sentiment; and it was believed that many 
slaveholders would emancipate their slaves if they 
8 (113) 


thought the persons emancipated could or would be 
sent to a country where their condition would be im- 

At this session the name of the Western Carolina 
Female College was changed to that, of Holston Con- 
ference Female College, as the college had been adopt- 
ed as a Conference institution. 

The minutes show that an arrangement had Leen 
made by the General Book Agent by which such books 
of the American Sunday School Union as were 
deemed suitable for circulation among our people 
could be procured through said Book Agent. By res- 
olution the Conference advised that no preacher of 
the Conference should purchase for sale or circula- 
tion any books of the Union which did not bear the 
imprimatur of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South. The reason of this action was that the Amer- 
ican Sunday School Union was largely under the con- 
trol of Presbyterians, and some of the books and 
periodicals of the Union were known to contain Cal- 
vinistic sentiments. 

From the report of the Board of Managers of the 
Missionary Society I copy the following paragraph : 

Since our last annual meeting our beloved Brother Cun- 
nyngham, with his estimable lady, has sailed for our missionary 
station at Shanghai, China. . . . We devoutly hope that be- 
fore this time he has reached the field of his future operations 
and commenced the work of preaching Christ and him cruci- 
fied. While we are thus represented in the Celestial Empire, 
we hope soon to be represented in California, where China 
herself is represented in her own native sons. . . . Greater 
liberality amongst our people has already been manifested. 
The amount collected for Brother Cunnyngham's outfit has 


not diminished the aggregate of our regular collections. 
Rather they have been increased ; and should we make another 
offering to God in a man and means for California, we doubt 
not that by the close of another Conference year we shall in- 
crease the amount of our collections a hundred per cent. 

This report was written by C. D. Smith. In this 
connection it may be well to state that J. C. Pender- 
grass was at this session transferred to California. 

The Committee on the Indian Mission, James At- 
kins, Chairman, reported that about eleven hundred 
Indians were included in the mission and lived in 
the counties of Macon, Haywood, and Cherokee, in 
the State of North Carolina; that these Indians 
owned the lands upon which they lived, and were pro- 
tected in all their rights by the laws of the State, 
so that it was considered that they were permanently 
settled where they were; that the sum of $53.33 per 
capita had been appropriated to them by the general 
government, the interest of which they could draw 
annually; that the mission was in a healthy condi- 
tion, and was evidently improving the spiritual con- 
dition of the Indians ; that during the year there had 
been twenty-five conversions and a hundred addi- 
tions to the Church ; that there were four Indian 
preachers, who were said to be pious and useful ; that 
the school was in a flourishing condition, notwith- 
standing the fact that it had no boarding house, which 
was much needed ; that during the year there had been 
an average attendance of forty-five pupils, and that 
they were found to learn well, even more rapidly 
than the white children. The committee asked for 


an appropriation sufficient to build a boarding house 
and to employ an interpreter. 

In the supplement to the Minutes of 1852 I find 
copied a record of a deed of land made by Thomas 
Stringfield to the trustees of Strawberry Plains High 
School. The deed embraced a plot of five acres of 
land, and the consideration was fifty dollars. The men 
named in the deed as trustees are: Creed Fulton, 
William Moulden, David Adams, Martin B. Carter, 
Robert H. Hynds, James A. Thornton, Sr., and Wes- 
ley Huffaker. The date of the deed is May 10, 1848. 

In the same supplement is recorded a deed of a plot 
of land in Asheville, N. C, made to trustees for the 
use and benefit of the Holston Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, for the purpose 
of a female college. The deed was made by Mr. 
James W. Patton, of Asheville, to the following men 
as trustees : John Reynolds, Joshua Roberts, Montra- 
ville Patton, N. W. Woodfin, R. W. Pulliam, James 
W. Patton, John W. McElroy, Jesse R. Siler, Jackson 
S. Burnett, Robert B. Vance, James Brittain, and Jo- 
seph Cathey. The consideration was one hundred 
and fifty dollars. The date of the deed is October 2, 
1852. The deed is not in fee simple, but is condi- 
tioned as follows : 

In trust for the Holston Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, with full power for the said Con- 
ference to occupy and possess the building thereon erected by 
such agents as they may appoint, and to erect such other 
building or buildings thereon as they may think proper for 
the purpose of founding and carrying on and perpetuating a 
female college to be under the control, patronage, and manage- 
ment of said Conference, to have and to hold the aforesaid 


land and the premises . . . for the use and purposes afore- 
said so long as the aforesaid Conference shall continue to use 
the same for the purposes aforesaid; but if the said .Confer- 
ence shall cease to use the property aforesaid for the purpose 
of a female college as aforesaid, and shall withdraw their 
patronage, then said land shall be held by the trustees above 
named for the benefit of the citizens of Asheville and vicinity, 
to be used by them for educational purposes as they may deem 

Also there is recorded another deed of land to 
the same trustees and for the same purposes given 
by James W. Patton and Joseph R. Osborn. The 
date and consideration are the same as in the other 
deed. This plot was adjacent to the plot mentioned 
in the other deed. If I am not mistaken, the whole 
amount of land included in the two deeds was thir- 
teen acres or thereabouts. This plot, situated as it is 
in the heart of the growing city of Asheville, would 
now be a little fortune to any man. 

Admitted on trial: W. Ballinger, James W. Belt, J. R. 
Birchfield, O. B. Callahan, R. K. Coen, James W. Dickey, A. 
C Ely, J. H. Green, John D. F. Jennings, J. B. Little, J. Reed, 
George H. Wells, Hezekiah West, Benjamin F. White. 

Readmitted : William H. Kelley, William T. Dowell. 

Located: Charles Collins, Creed Fulton, Samuel B. Har- 
well, W. R. Long, George K. Snapp. 

Discontinued : John Cox, Lemuel C. White, Erastus Rowley. 

Superannuated : Wiley B. Winton, T. K. Munsey, Thomas 
Wilkerson, E. F. Sevier. 

Died : Eli K. Hutsell. 

Transferred to the Pacific Conference : J. C. Pendergrass. 

Traveling preachers, 99; local preachers, 333. 

Numbers in society: White, 37,626; colored, 3,869. Total, 
41,495. Increase, 1,042. 

Missionary collections, $3,658.78; for Sunday schools, 


When the trustees of Emory and Henry College 
wished to secure a President for the newly estab- 
lished institution, they wrote to the Rev. Dr. Wilbur 
Fisk, a distinguished educator of the Church and 
President of the Wesleyan University, of Middletown, 
Conn., asking him to name a man for the place. He 
named Charles Collins, a recent graduate of that 
school. Mr. Collins was elected, and the choice proved 
to be a most fortunate one. He came to the college 
and opened a school in the boarding house April 2, 
1838, with a hundred students. Dr. Collins was a man 
of great physical, intellectual, and moral symmetry. 
He was a thorough scholar along many lines, and he 
possessed business and administrative talent of a high 
order. As a student under him I at first looked upon 
him as absolutely perfect. Later I found that, though 
a first-rate man, he was a man. If he had any weak- 
nesses, he may have loved money. I use the term 
"may," for I am not sure that he possessed this trait 
in an excessive degree. He kept books and stationery 
for the use of the students, and furnished them at 
the ordinary retail prices. He evidently derived some 
profit from this business, which, by the by, cost him 
time, labor, and risks. But in the faculty and com- 
munity there was a suspicion that his profits were 
exorbitant. He demanded of the trustees an investi- 
gation, and the investigation completely vindicated 
him. But the opposition and criticism with which he 
had met rendered his position somewhat disagreeable 
and prepared him for the acceptance of a better posi- 
tion which was offered him about this time. His lo- 
cation was occasioned by his election to the presi- 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 11$ 

dency of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. He re^ 
mained in that position a number of years; but after 
the Civil War he purchased the property of State 
Female College, at Memphis, Tenn., and there con- 
ducted a school with great success in every sense of 
the word. There he polished many bright jewels for 
southwestern society, and there he built up a comfort- 
able fortune by his judicious business management. 

Dr. Collins was born in Maine April 17, 1813; and 
died in Memphis, Tenn., July 10, 1875. He was first- 
honor graduate of Wesleyan University in a class 
with such men as Daniel Curry and E. E. Wiley. His 
degree of D.D. came from three different colleges. 
Late in the forties he entered the Calvinistic contro- 
versy. Dr. Frederick A. Ross, an able and learned 
divine of the Presbyterian Church of the new divin- 
ity or Hopkinsian school, came to the Presbyterian 
Church at Glade Spring, Va., a place within three 
miles of Emory and Henry College, and preached a 
sermon against the doctrines and polity of the Meth- 
odist Church. He had a string of appointments ex- 
tending from Chattanooga, Tenn., to New River, Va., 
at which he delivered the substance of this sermon; 
and it was one of great length, learning, and eloquence. 
It seems that he was foolish enough to believe that he 
could uproot Methodism. He defended by carefully 
prepared logic the peculiar doctrines of Calvinism, 
which had been assailed in the Methodist pulpits and 
publications of the section. He was not satisfied 
with acting on the defensive, but violently assailed 
Arminianism and Methodist episcopacy. He declared 
the episcopacy to be a system of one-man power, a 

*alM i 


CONFERENCES OF l8C2 AND 1853. 121 

tyranny. He also affected to show by cunningly de- 
vised sophistry that Arminianism logically leads to 
despotism and that Calvinism leads to civil liberty. 
In support of his logic he cited history to show that 
predestinarians have always been the friends of civil 
liberty and Arminians the friends of monarchy. 

Hearing and hearing of this sermon, a majority of 
the students of Emory and Henry College petitioned 
Mr. Collins to reply to it. Dr. Ross's controversial 
sermon was preached on Saturday. Mr. Collins re- 
quested him to repeat to the congregation on Monday 
the leading points in his Saturday sermon, which he 
did, Mr. Collins being present and taking notes. It 
was agreed that on Sunday week thereafter Mr. Col- 
lins should reply to this sermon in the same church. 
These two weeks Mr. Collins spent in laborious prep- 
aration for his reply. Fortunately, the college library, 
a well-selected collection of books, was at hand. Prof. 
Edmund Longley, a universal scholar, a walking cy- 
clopedia, directed the attention of his colleague, the 
young divine, to the proper authorities. At the prop- 
er time Mr. Collins was in the Presbyterian pulpit 
with several armfuls of books. The church was 
crammed with people anxious to witness the theolog- 
ical bout, the Methodists solicitous for the success of 
their youthful and untried champion and the Presby- 
terians confident that their Goliath would give the ec- 
clesiastical flesh of the little David to the fowls of the 
ecclesiastical atmosphere. Mr. Collins announced as a 
text: "He that is first in his own cause seemeth to be 
just; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him out." 
(Prov. xviii. 17.) He stood and spoke for seven 


hours without intermission. He reviewed the argu- 
ments of Dr. Ross. He not only defended Arminian- 
ism, but carried the war into Africa. The reading 
of authorities, Calvinistic and Arminian, took up 
much of the time, of course. The effort consisted 
of argument offensive and defensive, citations, spark- 
ling irony, and sober invective. The last three-quar- 
ters of an hour was occupied in a direct address to 
Dr. Ross. He endeavored to show him the harm he 
was doing by fanning the flames of sectarian hate, 
advising him to go home and devote his talents to 
preaching the peaceable gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ and to the saving of souls. The Emory stu- 
dents said that President Collins had administered to 
Dr. Ross a private reproof publicly. The next day Dr. 
Ross spoke four hours, but scarcely alluded to what 
Mr. Collins had said. 

It was Dr. Ross's Waterloo. I believe I am safe 
in saying that in a short time after this debate. he re- 
tired from the controversial forum. About this time 
another Richmond entered the ring, the redoubtable 
William G. .Brownlow, who did not hesitate to strike 
below the belt. Brownlow followed the trail of Dr. 
Ross from Chattanooga to New River, and in a four- 
hour address at leading points reviewed the' argu- 
ments of the great divine and the divine himself. 

In these days of sermonettes — little homilies, little 
in length and little in strength — the reader will be sur- 
prised to learn that no one became weary under Col- 
lins's seven-hour speech or under Brownlow's four- 
hour speeches. When Mr. Collins's seven-hour talk 
had ended, he was famous. It was a triumph of 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. I23 

learning and genius. He afterwards repeated the 
leading thoughts of this great sermon in a dedicatory 
sermon in Greeneville, Tenn., which was published 
under the title "Methodism and Calvinism Compared." 

While at Emory and Henry College Dr. Collins 
edited a quarterly entitled Southern Repertory and 
College Review, which took rank at once. Of him 
Bishop Simpson says : "His thoughts were weighed 
in the balances of Christian philosophy and then ut- 
tered with transparency and precision. In style he 
was clear, concise, pointed; in language, pure and ele- 
gant ; in spirit, calm but earnest and impressive." 1 

As Dr. Collins grew in wealth he seemed to relax 
his grip on it. As he grew easy in his circumstances 
he warmed up toward the destitute and the suffering. 
Mrs. Jane Dinwiddie, of Bristol, Tenn. ; who at one 
time was housekeeper in his great establishment in 
Memphis, observing that he did not house his coal, 
said to him one day: "Dr. Collins, you ought to put 
your coal under lock and key; people will steal it." 
He replied: "They won't steal it unless they need it." 

Do you suppose that God kindled such a light as 
Charles Collins just to blow it out? No, it still blazes ; 
and if we had spiritual eyes, we would see its light 
falling upon our pathways. I believe that he knows 
that I am writing of him; and I am glad of the priv- 
ilege of adding a mite, small though it be, to his 
transcendent joy by this imperfect tribute to his won- 
derful talent and great worth. 

In the Knoxville Press and Herald Col. John M. 
Fleming, the editor, said : 

1 Simpson's "Cyclopedia of Methodism." 


Dr. Collins was in many respects a superior man. In 
strength of- character he had few equals. As an executive 
officer he was surpassed by no college President in the land ; 
and, had his early ambitions taken a worldly turn, he had 
the capacity to have wielded successfully the affairs of a State 
or nation. He was stern to command, gentle to persuade, and 
was either as duty required. While administering his college 
presidency he seemed as if born for the discipline of youth; 
and yet, did the Church require his counsel, he was equally 
master in her cabinet. He was sympathetic, even to tender- 
ness, with human misfortune, as was specially exemplified in 
his kindness to youths to whom fortune had denied the means 
of early education. Of the thousands who will mourn his 
death, none will feel a more touching sorrow than those who 
will remember his parental guardianship. It has been with a 
saddened though grateful recollection of his thousand kind- 
nesses during the years of our wayward boyhood that we 
have penned this poor tribute to his memory. He is safe 
with his God. 

A notice of Creed Fulton was given in Volume III., 
and of S. B. Harwell in Volume II. 

William R. Long was a Lower East Tennesseean. 
As a preacher he was not equal to his brother Carroll 
or even to his brother James R. During or after the 
Civil War he transferred his membership to the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church. I remember that he had a 
very intelligent, sprightly, and useful wife. 

George K. Snapp was of an excellent Upper East 
Tennessee family. He was from Sullivan County, and 
was a man of fair talents and attainments and of un- 
blemished character. 

Eli K. Hutsell died July 24, 1852. He was a good 
preacher, magnetic and fascinating. He traveled only 
a few years, and was placed on the superannuate list 
on account of feeble health from pulmonary disease. 

CONFERENCES OF 1 852 AND 1 853. 1 25 

While in the active work he was unusually successful 
in winning souls to Christ. He preached occasionally 
while a superannuate, and always with acceptability. 
He enjoyed the blessing bf perfect love. His wife 
was Mary Ann Wells, who was born on Turkey Creek, 
Buncombe County, N. C, April 13, 1818; and died at 
the home of her son-in-law, Mr. Silas Sharp, near 
La Follette, Tenn., November 29, 1902. Her vigor- 
ous intellect was an inheritance from the Philips stock, 
her mother being an aunt of the Rev. Sewell Philips. 
At the death of her husband she was thrown upon 
her own resources ; but with an excellent English edu- 
cation and a happy talent for governing and impart- 
ing instruction, she made a good living at school- 
teaching, and reared an excellent family. She gave to 
the Church one of our most gifted traveling preachers, 
the Rev. R. A. Hutsell, now (1909) a member of the 
Conference. Eli K. Hutsell spent his last years in 
Buncombe County, N. C, as a farmer and part of the 
time as a merchant. When he was dying he asked a 
friend if he thought he was dying, and on receiving 
an affirmative answer he said: "If this is death, thank 
God for death !" Dr. Samuel Patton preached a me- 
morial sermon of Brother Hutsell at the Conference 
of 1852. It was a written sermon, and the preacher 
scarcely lifted his eyes from the manuscript ; but such 
was the affection of the preachers for the deceased 
and such was the spiritual power that accompanied 
the reading that when a lively song was sung after 
the sermon there was a delightful Pentecost. There 
was general weeping and rejoicing throughout the 


Since penning the above a sketch of the La Follette 
Church, by. the Rev., Frank Richardson, has fallen 
into my hands. Long years before La Follette was a 
town the Methodists had circuit preaching once a 
month on week days at Walker's Schoolhouse, situated 
about one mile from the present site of the town. Dr. 
Richardson says: 

In June of 1842 Rev. E. K. Hutsell, then preacher in 
charge of Tazewell Circuit, came to an appointment at S. H. 
Walker's, and with him Dr. Jackson Buckley and a local 
preacher and physician, of Fincastle, Tenn. There were pres- 
ent twelve persons besides the preachers, my mother being the 
only professing Christian and member of the Church among 
them. Hutsell preached, and called on Buckley to conclude — 
the custom of the times. There was ostensibly no special 
movement among the hearers, but, seeing a young lady pres- 
ent who had been a seeker at another place, he concluded to 
call penitents forward for her benefit. To his astonishment, 
the entire eleven unconverted persons came forward and knelt 
for prayers. The services were continued for quite a while, 
and three of the penitents were happily converted before they 
closed. The meeting was protracted six days, and resulted in 
the most powerful and wonderful religious movement I have 
ever known. It was a veritable pentecost. People flocked to 
the place till there were enough to fill the little schoolhouse 
several times. No one, so far as I know (and I was present), 
ever came on the ground who was not conscious of the pres- 
ence and influence of an unseen power. The stoutest men and 
the most hardened sinners were suddenly smitten and fell to 
the ground crying for mercy. If you walked away from the 
crowd where the noise of weeping penitents and shouting 
Christians was usually very great, you could hear men praying 
aloud through the woods in every direction. It is impossible 
to tell how many professed conversion during the six days of 
the meeting, but there were hundreds. When the meeting 
closed, people were coming to it from many miles around. 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 12J 

There was no abatement of interest, but a constant increase 
to the end. A few weeks later another meeting was held at 
the same place, at which time the young converts of that 
community were baptized and received into the Church. The 
baptism was peculiar. At the schoolhouse almost as many as 
could kneel in it were baptized by sprinkling. Then they went 
to Big Creek, the great audience making a very long proces- 
sion. A number knelt at the edge of the creek, and the water 
was poured on them by the pastor, Brother Hutsell. Then 
Dr. Buckley, being a strong man, took a number into the 
middle of the creek, where part of them knelt down and had 
the water poured on them, and others were immersed. 

This revival continued for months and even years, spread 
into all the surrounding country, and resulted in the conver- 
sion of thousands, several of whom became ministers of the 
gospel, and some of them have done eminent service in that 
sacred calling. There are hundreds in heaven to-day who owe 
their conversion and salvation to the marvelous influence 
which was started at that wonderful meeting. In the imme- 
diate community surrounding the place where the town of 
La Follette now stands almost every person of sufficient age 
was converted and joined the Methodist Church. The new 
converts were of every age, from the little boy and girl to the 
gray-haired grandfather and grandmother, and of every circle 
of society, rich and poor, bond and free, black and white, 
educated and uneducated. 

One result of the revival was the erection of a large camp 
ground one and a half miles east of La Follette, at which 
camp meetings were held annually for many years. These 
meetings were very popular and very useful. The tent holders 
were David and Laban Sharp, John Grimes, J. J. Mars, I. C. 
Petree, John Kincaid, James Cooper, Richard Vinsant, Joseph 
Delap, Mrs. Brummit, Henry Grimes, and William Richardson. 
This camp ground was occupied and destroyed by Confederate 
soldiers during the War between the States. Another one of 
its results was the erection of a plain, substantial brick church, 
which was called Soule Chapel, in honor of Bishop Joshua 


Erastus Rowley was a Northern man of superior 
talents and education. He joined the Conference on 
trial in 185 1, when the Conference took charge of the 
Western Carolina Female College, and was continued 
as its President. At the close of the year, becoming 
disconnected with the college, he was discontinued. 
Later, when the Conference established the Athens 
Female College, he became its President; but a short 
time after the war he assisted ministers and mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church in engineer- 
ing the institution out of the hands of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South. I have lost sight of him. 

J. C. Pendergrass, who was transferred to the Pa- 
cific Coast, was a man of considerable ability as a 
preacher, analyzed a subject well, and used good Eng- 
lish. My recollection is that he did good work in the 
Pacific Conference for many years. Mr. Pendergrass 
married a daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth C. Truslow, of 
Knoxville, Tenn., and at this point I take occasion to 
introduce a sketch of one of the most remarkable 
women of Holston Methodism: 

Elizabeth Ashfield Graves Valentine was born in Charles 
City County, Va., March 12, 1787. On November 29, 1810, in 
the city of Richmond, Va., she was married to Mr. Armstead 
Truslow. Seven years afterwards they moved to Lynchburg, 
Va., where Mr. Truslow died in 1836. In 1837 Mrs. Truslow, 
with her orphaned family, moved to Knoxville, Tenn., where 
she lived until her death, February 5, 1871. 

Mrs. Truslow became a communicant of the Methodist 
Church at the age of twelve, and was therefore a Methodist 
seventy-two years. She knew intimately Asbury, McKendree, 
and Jesse Lee. Her life, like a golden cord, stretched across 
three generations. Her mind was strong and was well culti- 
vated. Up to within a few days of her death she could talk 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 1 29 

with as much vigor of thought as any one. She was devoted 
to her Church. Nothing could draw her from it. Possibly, 
by her prayers, her faith, her hopeful confidence, she contrib- 
uted more largely than any one else to the reestablishment of 
the Southern Methodist Church in Knoxville after the war. 
The Northern Methodists having taken possession of the 
property, the records were gone. When the reorganization 
occurred, her name headed the roll of members. While so 
devoted to her own Church, she was no bigot, but was noted 
for her great catholicity. 

Her practical benevolence through life was limited only by 
her ability. Her charity for the unfortunate and erring was 
unbounded. Always active in any matter that concerned the 
Church or the cause of Christ, and looked up to by the com- 
munity on account of her great piety, it was in the family 
circle that she appeared to the best advantage. Here the 
whole round of cheerful, womanly graces, tempered into a 
heavenly beauty by her religion, shone forth in. all their 

She died at the residence of Henry Ault, Esq., having been 
a member of his household ever after his marriage to her 
daughter in 1838. Mr. Ault and his children, whom she had 
guided to manhood and womanhood, never hesitated to say 
that she was the best Christian they ever knew. This testi- 
mony was also borne by her pastor in his funeral discourse, 
from which discourse the foregoing is largely taken. She was 
the mother of eight children, all now deceased and all having 
died in the triumphs of the Christian faith. Among her living 
descendants are Mrs. T. K. Trigg, of Abingdon, Va. ; Frederick 
M. Trnslow, of the Georgia Railroad, Savannah, Ga. ; Judge 
William Truslow Newman, of the United States District 
Court, Atlanta, Ga. ; two daughters of Rev. J. C. Pendergrass, 
in California ; R. A. Jackson, Knox County, Tenn. ; and in 
the old home at Knoxville Miss M. A. Ault, Henry T. Ault, 
President of the Merchants' Bank, and Frederick A. Ault, 
Assistant Cashier of the same bank. Mrs. Truslow was buried 
from old Church Street Church, ministers of all denominations 
being present. The funeral sermon was preached by the 



pastor, Rev. E. E. Hoss, now Bishop Hoss, from the text, 
"She hath done what she could." Rev. Dr. Park, of the 
Presbyterian Church, Rev. Mr. Lloyd, of the Baptist Church, 
Rev. Dr. Humes, of the Episcopal Church, and Rev. J. M. 
McTeer, presiding elder, all took part in the services. 

Rev. William H. Bates, in a newspaper article, said : 

Sister Truslow was an old-time Methodist. She joined the 
Church in Richmond, Va., when very young. With the high 
pulpits of those days (as she told me) they held her up in 
order to reach the hand of the preacher. She heard Bishop 
Asbury, Jesse Lee, and many others contemporary with them. 
She kept punctually the quarterly fasts. In addition to prayer 
and fasting, she read Paul's letter to the Colossians, Ephesians, 
or Philippians. The class meeting she never missed if she 
was able to attend. Though quiet and unobtrusive, she never 
refused to lead in prayer when called upon. Her prayers were 
so humble, so trustful, so joyous and helpful. She was never 
boisterous ; but when she arose from her knees, her face bathed 
in tears, there was beaming from her face that which showed 
that glory crowned the mercy seat. I doubt if any one con- 
tributed more largely to the reestablishment of Southern 
Methodism in Knoxville than she by her prayers and hopeful 
confidence. Before she passed away, she was a great sufferer 
from paralysis. Yet amid it all and over it all the grace of 
God triumphed. God's goodness and love were her themes. 
Not satisfied to tell the story of his love to all who visited her, 
she sent for some to talk to them and sent messages to others. 
Truly the memory of the just is blessed. When shall we see 
her like again ? 

The Conference of 1852 was the first Conference 
ever held in the town of Asheville. At that date the 
population of the place was probably not over one 
thousand inhabitants. Situated in a rough, moun- 
tainous region, without railway advantages, it had 
nothing to develop and enlarge it but the pure air and 
water and picturesque scenery characteristic of the 


section, which attracted in the summer months nu- 
merous visitors in quest of health and pleasure. 

Buncombe County was laid off from the western 
portions of Burke and Rutherford Counties in 1791, 
while David Vance was a member of the Legislature 
from Burke County and William Davidson was State 
Senator from Rutherford County. 

Asheville had its beginning as follows : The first 
county court of Buncombe met and organized in the 
house of Col. William Davidson, who lived at what 
was known as Gum Spring, on the south bank of 
Swannanoa River, about half a mile above its mouth, 
but was so numerously attended that it adjourned 
to his barn. Here all the county courts met from 
April, 1792, to April, 1793, inclusive. But in July, 
1793, the court met in Morristown, variously written 
as Morristown, Morris Town, the Town of Morris, 
and Buncombe Courthouse. 

A word about the origin of Morristown: In July, 
J 794> John Burton obtained a grant of two hundred 
acres of land known as the Town tract. He also aft- 
erwards obtained a grant of an additional two hundred 
acres known as the Gillilan tract, lying adjacent to 
and north of the Town tract. On the Town tract he 
laid off a number of half-acre lots to be sold for town 
lots. After disposing of a number of these lots, he 
grew weary of his town project and sold both tracts, 
except what had been disposed of as town lots, to 
Zebulon and Beaden Baird. This sale was made April 
20 > I 795« For the anachronism of the above dates I 
am not responsible; I give the figures as I have re- 
ceived them. 


Under a decree of court the tract of four hundred 
acres which the Bairds owned was sold at public out- 
cry, and was bidden off by Zachariah Candler for 
Zebulon Baird. In 1797 the Legislature incorporated 
the town of Morristown, but changed its name to 
Asheville in honor of Samuel Ashe, then Governor of 
the State. 

David Vance, Esq., who lived and died on Upper 
Reems Creek, was the first County Court Clerk of the 
county. His chirography was beautiful, and his cler- 
ical work was eminently neat and systematic. His 
merits as Clerk, legislator, and citizen were a few 
years since recognized by the erection by his descend- 
ants of a handsome monument at the place of his 
burial. Zebulon B. and Robert B. Vance were among 
his grandsons. David Vance was a Presbyterian, and 
so was his son David Vance ; but many of his de- 
scendants have been Methodists, and Methodists of a 
fine type. 

Among the descendants of the elder David Vance 
was the Hon. Allen M. Davidson, of Asheville, a 
grandson, who was during the Civil War a member 
of the Confederate Congress and a successful lawyer. 
His son Theodore Davidson is (1911) an eminent 
lawyer, and was for some time Attorney-General of 
the State. 

The town of Asheville was built on the Zebulon 
Baird lands. The brothers, Zebulon and Beaden Baird, 
were of Scotch descent, and came to North Caro- 
lina from New Jersey. In 1793 they brought to Bun- 
combe the first four-wheeled wagon ever seen in the 
county, and they were the first merchants of the coun- 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 133 

ty. They settled and lived on farms lying between 
what is now Asheville and Weaverville. 

Zebulon Baird died in March, 1827. In himself 
deserving of a history, he has become more historical 
by being the grandfather of Senator Z. B. Vance, his 
namesake, and of that paragon of piety and useful- 
ness, Gen. Robert B. Vance. David Vance and Zeb- 
ulon Baird were stanch Presbyterians, but their pos- 
terity are largely and conspicuously Methodists.- 

In 1824 the Legislature of North Carolina incorpo- 
rated the Buncombe* Turnpike Company, and a turn- 
pike from Saluda Gap, then in Buncombe County, to 
the Tennessee line was completed in 1828. This pike 
gave a new impetus to Asheville, for it opened Bun- 
combe to the world, and it was much used by travel- 
ers and stock drivers. It is no exaggeration to say 
that seventy-five or a hundred thousand hogs were 
driven over this pike every autumn for a number of 
years, and horses, mules, cattle, and sheep in propor- 
tion. The travel and the stock-driving industry occa- 
sioned the establishment of a number of hotels from 
the Tennessee line at Paint Rock to the South Caro- 
lina line, which enriched their possessors ; and a num- 
ber of prosperous and cultured families lived along 
the turnpike, which followed the meanderings of 
French Broad River as it pursued its noisy course 
amid the precipitous ridges of the Smoky Mountains. 

Tradition has it that while David B. Cumming was 
on French Broad Circuit in 1824-25 he organized the 
first Methodist society in Asheville, 1 which remained 
in a circuit till the year 1848. 

1 See Volume III. of this work, p. 101. 


Asheville was erected into a station in 1848, with 
J. S. Burnett as its first pastor. In 1849 the station 
reported sixty-five white members, fifty-nine colored 
members, and two local preachers. 

Western North Carolina was for a long time cut 
off from the great world by mountains, rough roads, 
and lack of railroad and navigation advantages. It 
is true that the French Broad River in North Caro- 
lina is a considerable river ;'but, as Bishop McTyeire 
once said of it, "it would not navigate a fence rail." 
It was some years after the Civil War before the 
mountains of that section echoed with the shrill whis- 
tle of the locomotive. But on the completion of the 
railroads connecting Salisbury, N. C, with Morris- 
town, Tenn., and Asheville with Atlanta, the town and 
surrounding country began to develop rapidly. Cap- 
ital, enterprise, and people began to flow into Bun- 
combe County in constantly increasing streams. The 
population of Asheville (1909) has increased to some 
thirty-five thousand inhabitants, and it is one of the 
best towns in the Southern States. As a health and 
pleasure resort it has a national reputation. 'George 
Vanderbilt has bought up thousands of acres of land 
in the vicinity of the city, and his improvements have 
run into millions of dollars. In gardening, stock-rais- 
ing, and architecture he has set a splendid example 
to the denizens of the mountains. 

The growth of Methodism in Asheville has kept 
pace with the material growth of the city, which is 
now one of the strongholds of that form of the faith. 
The Church there has reaped the fruit of many genu- 
ine revivals. The author was stationed there in 1866, 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. I35 

and remained there two years. In his first year the 
Church was visited with a gracious revival of far- 
reaching influence both as to space and time. In two 
weeks eighty souls professed conversion in the old- 
time Methodist style. During the meeting there were 
ten or a dozen religious trances, which defied the phi- 
losophy of the physicians and caused a spirit of awe to 
fall on the whole community. Persons became help- 
less and speechless for hours and, in a few cases, for 
days; but those who entered the trances as sinners 
came out of them as saints. These trances seemed to 
result from sympathy of the body with the soul dying 
from sin. Why call them fanaticism? They were 
unsought and unavoidable. At one ceremony the writ- 
er received into the Church sixty-three persons of 
both sexes and varying in ages from the mere child 
to the veteran of business and the venerable matron. 

The Rev. W. W. Bays, D.D., took charge of Ashe- 
ville Station in 1883. At that time there was but 
one Southern Methodist congregation in the town, 
afterwards named Central Church. The Methodist 
Episcopal Church then had a small frame building on 
Patton Avenue, and the Rev. W. M. Bagby (now of 
the Western North Carolina Conference, Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South) had just served that Church 
one year ; he soon thereafter joined the Church, South. 
There were at that time some colored Methodist 
Churches in the city. 

Before Dr. Bays arrived in Asheville Mr. J. J. Hill, 
a layman, had been conducting a Methodist Sunday 
school in a small rented cottage in North Asheville, 
then known as Doubleday. In the fall of 1884 Dr. 


Bays conducted a protracted meeting in this cottage. 
A number professed conversion, and a small class of 
nine persons was organized. This was. the beginning of 
our Church in North Asheville. In the spring of 1885 
Dr. Bays began building a frame church at that place on 
a lot donated by the Doubleday Land Company. As 
soon as the house was up, the roof on, and the floor 
laid, he began to preach in it, supplying the lack of 
window glass with white cotton cloth. It was a hard 
pull to build that house, as many of the Central Church 
were not in sympathy with the movement. But the 
Rev. L. M. Pease, of blessed memory, gave two hun- 
dred dollars to the enterprise. No other, save Dr. 
Bays himself, gave more than ten or fifteen dollars. 
He designed the building, laid off nearly every tim- 
ber in the frame, and did many a hard day's work 
with his own hands. The membership of this Church 
grew steadily from the beginning. Some years since, 
this house was sold to the Baptists; and the North 
Asheville Methodists, under the pastorate of the Rev. 
E. K. McLarty, built a handsome new church on 
Chestnut Street, where they now worship. 

In the winter of 1886 Dr. Bays secured a room for 
a Sunday school from the Hon. Richmond Pearson 
in a brick storehouse which he had on the French 
Broad River at the old Asheville depot. He bought 
lumber for seats, and made them with his own hands. 
There a Sunday school was begun in the spring of 
1887. First one and then another served as superin- 
tendent. Dr. Bays acted as superintendent himself a 
part of the time and preached there frequently. By 
and by a new society was organized there. In the 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 1 37 

summer of 1887 Dr. Bays secured a lot from a good 
Presbyterian brother on which to build a church for 
our West Asheville people. He planned the building, 
gave two hundred dollars of his own money to the 
enterprise, and did much of the work with his own 
hands. The money which he gave to this enterprise 
was one-fifth of his entire salary for the year. What 
will tithing people say of this? If he had been a 
tither, he would have stopped at one hundred dollars. 
His people were not in full sympathy with this en- 
terprise, and did not contribute as liberally as they 
should have done. The Hon. Thomas D. Johnson 
was the most liberal lay contributor; he gave sixty 
dollars. The sainted Miss Anna Aston, daughter of 
Judge E. W. Aston, was in full sympathy with this 
work, and did much in many ways to further it. The 
memory of her pure, self-sacrificing life will ever re- 
main in Asheville as a sweet perfume. Dr. Bays had 
at that time the assistance of the Rev. E. S. Bettis, 
afterwards a member of the Holston Conference, and 
he did good work in both North and West Asheville. 

The West Asheville charge afterwards sold the Bays 
house and bought a brick church from the congrega- 
tion of the Methodist Episcopal Church on Haywood 
Street, where they now worship, and the charge is a 
strong, self-supporting one. The little West Ashe- 
ville building still stands, and is occupied by the Wes- 
leyan. Methodists. 

In the fall of 1886 Dr. Bays began home mission- 
ary operations on the side of Beaumont, a hill which 
was formerly called Beaucatcher. This work he be- 
gan in a cottage. Mrs. Ervin Sluder had donated a 


lot on College Street, just above the Asheville Female 
College, for Church purposes. Dr. Bays then organ- 
ized in his congregation a home mission society, with 
regular officers, the first society of the kind he had 
known of. This society raised a small fund with which 
to build a chapel on College Street, and the building 
went up as by magic. Dr. Bays got the lumber to the 
place and hired a number of carpenters. They began 
work on Wednesday at one o'clock, and by sundown 
on Saturday they had finished the church, a building 
16x31, with basement, vestibule, belfry, and bell 
hung in its place, seats, aisles carpeted, stove up, pul- 
pit and altar all complete. On the following Sunday he 
preached in this chapel and organized a Sunday school 
of forty-two members. Mr. Harry Lindsay superin- 
tended this Sunday school for several years. 

At the Conference of 1887 the three new congrega- 
tions were set off as a separate charge and called 
Asheville City Mission. At that Conference Dr. Bays 
was appointed preacher in charge of this mission, 
with the Rev. C. M. Bishop as assistant. Dr. Bays 
was not expected to do full work ; but he preached oc- 
casionally in the' mission churches, and for his serv- 
ices during the year he received exactly twenty-five 
cents ! 

When the new church was built in North Ashe- 
ville on Chestnut Street, the College Street Church 
was absorbed by it. After this Bethel Church was 
built in Southwest Asheville. It was mainly paid for 
by Miss Mattie Johnson, sister of the Hon. Thomas 
D. Johnson. This Church has grown to be a self-sup- 
porting charge. A new chapel has also been built 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. I39 

near the river in West Asheville and called Riverside ; 
and another charge has been formed at Weaver Dam, 
on the river some miles below Asheville, and still an- 
other in West Asheville, west of the river, and one at 
Biltmore — all more or less, directly or indirectly, the 
product of the original Asheville Station. The old 
church of Asheville Station has been torn down and 
succeeded by the handsome new stone Central Meth- 
odist Church, one of the finest in the State and cost- 
ing sixty or seventy thousand dollars. 

I have perhaps given too much space to the prog- 
ress of Methodism in Asheville. But the enterprise 
and energy of Dr. Bays in fortifying for Methodism 
— and Christianity as well — the several points re- 
ferred to in that growing city of the mountains de- 
serve commendation. Centralizers would have pre- 
ferred to build up one great Church for all Asheville, 
able to furnish a plethoric salary at small cost to the 
individual members ; but a single Church could not 
have supplied the entire population with Methodist 
gospel, and could not have held the mass of the peo- 
ple to Methodism, as the policy inaugurated by Dr. 
Bays has done. He is a long-headed man, and he 
foresaw as few others did the great strides in wealth 
and population which Asheville was destined to make 
and the necessity of Church expansion to meet the ex- 
igencies of the foreseen material and social expansion 
of the city. 

In the St. Louis Christian Advocate of May 3, 1852, 
there appeared from the pen of Dr. Brunner a brief 
appreciation of an excellent local preacher on the Dan- 
dridge Circuit, which follows : 


Rev. Daniel Lyle, a local preacher still living on the Dan- 
dridge Circuit, Holston Conference, was, many years ago, 
informed that preaching was needed in the neighborhood of 
Henry's Cross Roads, Sevier County, Tenn. Accordingly he 
sent an appointment to preach at a schoolhouse in the neigh- 
borhood. On the day appointed he went to the place and 
found not a few in attendance. After preaching to the crowd 
of people who had come, at least many of them, to hear what 
a Methodist had to say, he proceeded to read the General 
Rules as laid down in our excellent book of Discipline. He 
then established a regular appointment for preaching at that 
place, once in every four weeks. It was months before he 
could induce any to come out from the world and join the 
Church; but he grew riot weary in well-doing, believing that 
in due season he would reap if he fainted not. At length two 
females, rather unpromising ones, offered themselves as pro- 
bationers. Subsequently at nearly every appointment he re- 
ceived an accession of one or more. In process of time seven- 
teen of the best settlers in the neighborhood joined the Church 
in one day. The place was taken into the plan of the circuit. 
A large and comfortable frame church has recently been erect- 
ed near where the .old schoolhouse stood ; and here regularly 
assemble a pious, intelligent people to offer up their spiritual 
sacrifices to Almighty God. A more liberal, high-minded class 
is not to be found on the circuit. Many who have been gath- 
ered into the fold of Christ have, in the changes of society, 
scattered abroad; many have died in the faith and have gone 
home to heaven. But Brother Lyle, weighed down with age 
and afflictions, has ceased to visit regularly this scene of his 
labors. Recently a calculation was made to see how far he 
had, upon the whole, traveled in going to and from his ap- 
pointments at that place, when it was ascertained that he had 
traveled seven thousand four hundred and forty-two miles in 
sixteen years. For all this toil and labor in preaching at that 
place he has received nothing from the Church. Yet by in- 
dustry and economy and the blessing of God he has enjoyed a 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 141 

About the year 1832 Samuel Lotspeich:, a Method- 
ist local preacher, emigrated to Cocke County, Term., 
and purchased a farm from William Garrett. Mr. 
Lotspeich had inherited an ample patrimony, and he 
seemed to possess all the conditions of a happy life; 
but misfortune after misfortune came upon him thick 
and fast. Three of his children, while watching the 
laborers at work in a field, were forced by a thun- 
der shower to take shelter under a sycamore tree near 
the Big Pigeon River, when an electric current struck 
the tree, instantly killing the girl and smaller boy and 
severely shocking the larger boy. This calamity was 
followed in a short time by the death of his wife. 

In the meantime his eldest daughter, Barbara, was 
married to Elisha Moore, and they began housekeep- 
ing in Jefferson . County, just across the line on the 
north bank of the French Broad River, opposite to 
the Irish Bottoms, in Cocke County. Mr. Lotspeich 
married again, and his second wife was a Miss Gibson, 
of Abingdon, Va. The daughter, Jane, and her step- 
mother not harmonizing, the former went to live with 
her married sister. Elisha Moore owned a slave by 
the name of Tom, and he and Mr. and Mrs. Moore 
and Miss Lotspeich constituted the family. One night 
in June, 1853, the negro entered the family room, and 
with an ax murdered the married couple, then with 
the same instrument struck' down the innocent girl, 
outraged her, and then completed the triple murder 
by dashing out her brains. He was soon captured 
and by torture forced to confess. The details of the 
confession will not be given here ; they are too horri- 
fying. It is impossible to conceive of a more fiendish 


deed. His master and mistress had always been kind 
and indulgent to him. He had no ill will for them ; on 
the contrary, he had every reason to love them. They 
were murdered to make way for the gratification of a 
fiendish lust, which had been provoked by no impru- 
dence on the part of the innocent girl. 

The negro was defiant. He expressed no regret for 
the murder of the girl, but did say that if he had it 
to do over again he possibly would not have killed 
Mr. Moore and his wife. A lynching bee was formed 
and a day appointed for burning the negro at a stake. 
About six thousand people assembled, including about 
one thousand slaves. While he was being tied to the 
stake — a persimmon tree — he turned and laughed 
scornfully in the face of the bystanders and refused 
to call upon God for mercy. The flames did their 
work quickly, and the soul of the poor sinner returned 
to God who gave it. 1 A Northern man having heard 
of this lynching and having expressed his condemna- 
tion of it, one of the eye-witnesses gave him a de- 
tailed account of the whole affair, whereupon he re- 
marked: "If I had been there at the time, I probably 
would have taken a hand in the lynching." The New 
Testament doctrine of demoniacal possession, or rath- 
er obsession, I am disposed to believe to be true, and 
true for the present day as well as for ancient times ; 
and it is quite likely that this negro was thus affected. 

The author was appointed to Jasper Circuit in 1852; 
and just before the Conference of 1853 he held a 
meeting at Henninger's Chapel, a church about twen- 
ty miles east of Jasper and in the vicinity of what is 

*A newspaper article of W. J. McSween, Esq. 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. I43 

now Dunlap. The Rev. John R. Stewart furnishes 
me some items of religious history of that immediate 
community, which I will reproduce in this connection. 
At the present time one of the strongholds of Meth- 
odism in Sequatchee Valley is the old Henninger's 
Chapel neighborhood (now called Chapel Hill). The 
church was burned during the war by Federal sol- 
diers while camped there. A revival of very remarkr 
able scope and power was conducted at this church by 
the young pastor, R." N. Price, of the Jasper Circuit, 
in the fall of 1853. Many were converted in this meet- 
ing who afterwards became religious leaders, some of 
whom remain useful to the present day (1910). With- 
out invidious distinction may be mentioned some of the 
larger family connections almost entirely brought into 
the Church by this meeting, such as the Kirklins, the 
Deakinses, the Thurmons, the Stewarts, the Barkers, 
and the Andersons. The Rev. A. D. Stewart, of the 
Holston Conference, was one of the converts. Some- 
time in the Conference year 1852-53, while I was in 
charge of Jasper Circuit, I happened to be at the home 
of the Rev. James Rogers, a local preacher, who lived 
near Henninger's Chapel. While I was in the woods 
near by meditating, a messenger came from the home 
of Mr. William Stewart requesting Mr. Rogers and 
the preacher to go at once to his house to talk and 
pray with his son, who was dying. Mr. Rogers, feel- 
ing that the King's business required haste, and not 
waiting for my return to the house, obeyed the call at 
once. When he reached Mr. Stewart's house, he saw 
that no time was to be lost. So without the usual pre- 
liminaries of reading, song, and prayer, he proceeded 


to direct the dying man to the Saviour of the world; 
and he at once laid hold upon him by faith, and was 
filled with joy and peace. He then fell into a doze, 
and was sleeping when I arrived, so that I had no op- 
portunity to speak to him. I learned after I left that 
he awaked rejoicing, called his friends around him, 
including his cousin Absalom D. Stewart, and con- 
strained them to promise to meet him in heaven. His 
spirit then returned to God. This was the beginning 
of a train of influences that eventually brought the 
whole Stewart tribe into the Church. The young 
man of whose death I have spoken was by the name 
of Absalom, a family name. A notice of the conver- 
sion and call to preach of A. D. Stewart will be given 
in Chapter XII. Among the converts of the revival 
who made Church workers were Stephen D. Thurmon, 
William D. Stewart, and William Deakins. The most 
prominent lay workers in this Church for many years 
were Josiah Rogers, who was converted at Richland 
Camp Meeting in 1844, and the Stephen D. Thurmon 
and William D. Stewart just mentioned. They were 
faithful supporters of the pastor, whoever he might 
be, and promoters of every spiritual movement. 

William D. Stewart, a brother of Absalom D. Stew- 
art, was accidentally killed in 1869 by a friend, who 
while they were hunting took him for a deer. When 
he joined the Methodist Church, none of his family 
connection were members of that communion. Aft- 
erwards practically all of them became Methodists. 
Four of them became itinerant Methodist preachers — 
namely, A. D. Stewart and son, Richard A., brother 
and nephew of William D. ; and the two sons of the 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. I45 

last, John R. and William J., of the Tennessee Con- 
ference. The Rev. John Alley in an obituary notice 
of William D. Stewart said: "He was possessed of 
talents of a high order ; and when warmed under a 
good gospel sermon or at a prayer meeting he would 
seem to be aglow with the power and glory of God, 
and in prayer would almost, it seemed, bring heaven 
and earth together. When he arose from his knees, 
the whole congregation would be in tears, and many 
Christians would be in a high state of ecstasy." 

Stephen D. Thurmon was a fervent Christian, able 
in prayer, an untiring singer, and a great revival 
worker. He led many souls to the Saviour. He died 
in 1896. 

A remarkable man in this community was Josiah 
Rogers, familiarly known as Uncle Si. He was a son 
of William Rogers and a nephew of Daswell Rogers. 
He was physically stalwart and sinewy, intellectually 
scarcely reaching mediocrity, spiritually a veritable 
giant. Wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove, and in 
courage not deficient, he had a firmer grasp on the 
esteem and confidence of the people of that section 
than any other man in it. He was born in 1817, born 
again in 1844, and ever afterwards led a joyous, Chris- 
tian life. He was known far and wide as a great 
shouter. Frequently at church, at home, in the field, 
on the roadside, and in times of bereavement his ex- 
ulting soul would rise above every cumbering care in 
rapturous praise to God. He shouted because he could 
not hold his peace. At such times the people hung 
upon his ecstatic words with profound religious awe. 
His life was as consistent as his joy was exuberant. 


Unable to lead in song or public exhortation, and his 
prayers characterized by a sameness of expression, he 
was nevertheless a great power for good. He died 
in 1882. 

In this community lived Mrs. Louisa Kirklin, daugh- 
ter of John and Elizabeth Anderson. She was of an 
excellent family. One of her brothers was for some 
years a member of Congress and was murdered by 
Union men in 1861. She was a devout Christian for 
many years before the revival just mentioned, a wom- 
an of holiness of heart and life. One of her daughters 
married the Rev. John Alley and another the Rev. 
Mitchell P. Swaim. Mrs. Elizabeth Anderson was 
married the second time, and a son by this second mar- 
riage was Roland P. Loyd, one of the best citizens of 
this valley. I may add that Louisa Anderson Kirklin 
was the first white child born in Sequatchee Valley, 
and the second was William Griffith, who lived and 
died at an advanced age in Jasper. 

The Conference met in its thirtieth session in Wythe- 
ville, Va v October 12, 1853, Bishop Paine President, 
and William C. Graves Secretary. 

This session was characterized by an unusual amount 
of disciplinary trouble. Two men were arraigned for 
the violation of marriage contracts. Both passed, one 
of them with a mild vote of censure and the other with 
the loss of his parchments for one year. One man was 
arraigned for high imprudence, possibly involving im- 
morality, and he cut the Gordian knot by withdrawing 
from the Church. Years afterwards he was licensed 
to preach again and died in the local ministry. One 
man who had gone West was left without an appoint- 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. I47 

ment on account of the nonpayment of a debt to the 
Book Concern, and the bishop was by vote requested 
to report for him in the General Minutes a discon- 
tinuance if he should receive information of the pay- 
ment of the debt. Another was tried for the nonpay- 
ment of a debt to the Book Concern and willful false- 
hood connected therewith and expelled from the 

I mention these items to show that the Confer- 
ence was at that time strict in the administration of 
discipline and required a high standard of moral con- 
duct in its preachers. 

At this session a paper from Mr. Alexander Ken- 
nedy, of Blount County, Tenn., was presented to the 
Conference, in which the Conference was requested to 
appoint a board of trustees to receive from him a do- 
nation creating a fund the interest of which should 
be applied to the needs of the Conference. The amount 
was not yet denned in the mind of the donor, but it 
was stated that it should not be less than two thou- 
sand dollars. The Conference accepted the donation 
and appointed to take charge of the fund a board of 
trustees consisting of E. F. Sevier, Samuel Patton, 
and the Hon. S. B. Boyd. This was the origin of 
what was for a long time known as the Kennedy Fund. 

The following were elected delegates to the next 
General Conference : Samuel Patton, E. E. Wiley, Wil- 
liam Hicks, Timothy Sullins, Daniel B. Carter, and 
James Atkins. Alternates: T. K. Catlett and David 

The Conference requested the appointment of John 4 ' 
H. Brunner to Hiwassee College. If I am not mis- 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. I49 

taken, this is the first mention in the Minutes of this 
institution. How came there to be a Hiwassee Col- 
lege ? It was not premeditated or planned. Dr. Gib- 
son, a Presbyterian, was teaching a growing school on 
Fork Creek, Monroe County, Tenn. ; and failing to get 
boarding places for his students, he applied to the trus- 
tees of the Bat Creek Camp Ground for liberty to oc- 
cupy- the camps as dormitories for his boys and the 
framed church as a schoolhouse. Here the school was 
at work in 1849, when Dr. Brunner first l^iew it and 
where by invitation he made an address in favor of 
erecting what is now the old brick building. There 
was then no talk or desire to have the school a secta- 
rian affair. Such a proposition would have been fatal 
to the enterprise. All subscriptions were taken for a 
nondenominational institution. The college building 
went up, the school was organized in 1849, an d a char- 
ter was granted by the Legislature January 23, 1850. 
By that charter the college was to share with Bolivar 
ifiiidemy, in Madisonville, in the funds then coming 
from the State. . A question arose about the legality 
of dividing the money coming to Bolivar Academy. 
Suit was brought in the Chancery Court, and Hiwassee 
lost. The charter was then amended by the Legisla- 
ture, giving Hiwassee a separate • existence. Up to 
the. late sixties Hiwassee was undenominational. Pro- 
fessor -Greiner, a Lutheran, resigned as President Oc- 
tober 20, 1869 ; and Prof. F. M. Grace, who had been 
a Professor in the University of Tennessee, took 
charge July 18, 1870. A deed of gift to the tract of 
land on" which Hiwassee College was located, was 
made by the Rev. Daniel B. Carter, of the Holston 



Conference, to a board of trustees on condition that 
it was to be used for educational purposes. The prop- 
erty was afterwards tendered to the Holston Confer- 
ence and accepted, and visitors were appointed by the 
Conference from year to year for some years, which 
visitors had equal power with the trustees on all ques- 
tions whatsoever. 

Dr. Brunner Was elected to a professorship in the 
college in 1853, the next year made President in place 
of President Doak, resigned, and served in this ca- 
pacity till i860, when he took charge of Strawberry 
Plains College. But as Providence would have it, the 
fortunes of Dr. Brunner and Hiwassee College seemed 
to have -been inseparably united. Several times he had 
a man placed at the head of the school that he might 
devote himself to the work of the itinerancy, only to 
be recalled. 

In 1877 Dr. Brunner made the following report to 

the Conference: 

The undersigned, as President of Hiwassee College, begs 
leave to report that he was appointed to his present position 
five years ago at your session in Chattanooga, with the proviso 
that he was not expected to begin operations before August of 
the following year. The college was then, and had been for 
some time, suspended — without teachers, without students, 
without money ! A faculty was, however, secured, and at the 
appointed time the exercises of the college were resumed. 
Since then (a period of four years and three months) we have 
received into the college from thirteen of the States an ag- 
gregate of three hundred and thirty-six students, of whom 
twenty-two have been young preachers of the gospel. 

The report claimed that the college was out of debt, 
but that the buildings were sadly in need of repairs, 
and asked the Conference for an agent to raise funds. 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 151 

I think I can honestly say that I know of no expendi- 
ture of money by the Church which has done so much 
good as that expended on Hiwassee College. Scores 
of young men, and young women as well, have been 
educated there and qualified for positions of useful- 
ness who have not had the means to attend more ex- 
pensive schools, and who, if Hiwassee had not ex- 
isted, would have lived in ignorance and obscurity. 

The troubles of the country during the Civil War 
caused the college work to be suspended for about 
four years. The school was taken out of the hands of 
the Conference and became a Peabody Normal in 1896. 
It continued in this relation three years, with Prof. 
S. G. Gilbreath as its President. The Marsh Build- 
ing, was erected in 1890 by the citizens at a cost of 
$6,000, Mr. E. W. Marsh, whose name it bears, being 
a liberal contributor. This was under the administra- 
tion of Dr. Brunner. The Morrow Building, a boys' 
dormitory, was erected in 1897, the money therefor 
($2,000) having been given by that noble man, Dr. 
William Morrow, of Nashville. 

In 1907 the college was leased to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, for a term of fifty years 
on condition that the school shall be run as a junior 
college and the property kept in good repair. The 
trustees also agreed to raise $1,000 for the college 
and to deed to the Church in fee simple six acres of 
land immediately in front of the college building, upon 
which the Church was to erect a building for a girls' 
dormitory. This building has been erected at a cost 
of $4,000. This is known as the Lawrence Building, 
named for Mr. G. W. Lawrence, a liberal contribu- 


tor. A building known as Brown Science Hall has 
been erected at a cost of $500 through the liberality of 
Mr. John K. Brown. 

Rev. Eugene Blake, of the Holston Conference, is 
now (1909) President of the institution, and it is sup- 
ported by the Conference Board of Missions, Board of 
Education, and the Educational Extension Board. 

The college when a Peabody school had about one 
hundred students and was coeducational. The pres- 
ent school (1909) is coeducational and numbers one 
hundred and five students. 

From the halls of Hiwassee have gone many worthy 
sons. They have adorned the President's Cabinet, the 
two halls of Congress, different State Legislatures, 
divers judgeships, and other honorable stations in. so- 
ciety. More than one hundred and thirty have gone 
into the pulpits of the South and' West. 

While speaking of Hiwassee College it may not be 
out of place to make mention in this connection of 
the camp grounds of Monroe County. The one at 
Bat Creek, out of which grew Hiwassee College, was 
established in the year 1826. It was abandoned in 
the time of the Civil War. Eleazar Camp Ground was 
laid off by W. G. Brownlow while preacher on the 
Madisonville Circuit, and was kept up till a few years 
ago. The Chestua Camp Ground was established soon 
after the Hiwassee purchase was made from the Cher- 
okees, and was abandoned since the war of the sixties. 
W. G. E. Cunnyngham was converted at a Chestua 
Camp Meeting in the early forties. 

These three camp grounds were in Monroe County 
and not more than eight or ten miles apart. They 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 153 

were potent factors in our Methodist operations in that 

In close connection with the above mention of Hi- 
wassee College and the Monroe County camp grounds 
I think it appropriate to give a brief notice of a re- 
markably useful local preacher of that section. 

Joseph Forshee was one of the founders of Hiwas- 
see College. He was a local preacher. He was born 
in Greene County, Tenn., May 12, 1821 ; and was hap- 
pily converted at his home, near what afterwards be- 
came Hiwassee College, in Monroe County, Tenn., 
when some twenty years old. He was married to Miss 
Eleanor Parker October 4, 181 9. 

He was a little over six feet tall, straight and built 
for strength. His complexion was dark, his hair dark, 
and his eyes black hazel. His manner was quiet and 
deliberate, the tone of his voice rather loud in public 
speaking, and his preaching practical and thoroughly 
Methodistic in sentiment. When told by his physician 
that his end was near, he replied: "Well, I am ready, 
and, doctor, I thank you for your services; I want 
you to meet me in heaven." His wife and children, 
all grown and members of the Church, were in the 
room; also many neighbors and the presiding elder. 
His voice at once changed from weakness to strength. 
He spoke of the value of religion and the glories of 
heaven, and in a few moments every one that was in 
the room was in tears and some of them were shout- 
ing the praise of God, and the holy excitement con- 
tinued several minutes after the preacher's heart was 
still in death. 

Mr. Forshee's extraordinary piety and usefulness 


constituted his principal title to historic recognition. 
His fame was in all the Churches of the Conference. 
A volume might well be written of him. Among his 
dying remarks are the following: ''About thirty-four 
years ago God said that I might live. It was then the 
1 2th day of May. Everything seemed new. I have 
met with many persons who have doubted their con- 
version; I have never doubted mine. When the peo- 
ple inquire about me, tell them I am in heaven if not 
on earth." When the dews of death were settling on 
his brow, his children gathered about his bed. He 
cast an affectionate look upon each — the farewell look 
— and then with indescribable animation said: "O my 
children, this is what we all must pass through ! Be 
ye also ready. I shall soon be where all is glory." 

He died April 2, 1855, aged fifty-four years, seven 
months, and seventeen days, and was buried in the 
Hiwassee cemetery. 

In a letter to me the Rev. Dr. John H. Brunner says : 

When I came to Hiwassee College, in 1853, there were 
living in that community four local preachers of more than 
ordinary usefulness and prominence. Two of them, John Key 
and Lewis Carter, occasionally served as supplies in the 
itinerant field; but the other two, John F. Gilbreath and 
Joseph Forshee, were strictly local, though gifted in preaching, 
prayer, and exhortation. 

Of Mr. Forshee I wish to speak more in detail. As a lad 
he and another brother had been bound out in Greene County 
under the old laws then in vogue. A more cruel master than 
his it would be hard to find — a beastly drunkard ! Till he was 
fourteen years old Joseph Forshee never had a pair of trou- 
sers. His apparel was a long shirt made of coarse tow cloth 
of home manufacture. Tired of being forced to carry whisky 
from the distillery for their sottish master, the boys ran 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. I55 

away and found protection among distant kindred. Joseph 
found his way from Greene County to what was then known 
as the Hiwassee Purchase. In the Bat Creek (now called 
Key's) Chapel Sunday school he learned his letters and 
learned to read. His course was ever onward and upward. 
He became owner of a desirable farm, and was the father of 
sixteen children by the same good mother, fourteen of whom he 
reared to maturity, honored by all who knew them. Often have 
I heard it said of him: "He was one of nature's noblemen." 
Everybody loved him. 

Brother Forshee was thrown from his horse when return- 
ing home from Sweetwater. His injuries proved to be greater 
than at first supposed. I went to see him one morning. 
James Atkins, Sr., and Lewis Carter also called in. We 
saw that the end was near and agreed to stay to see the 
closing scene. Brother Forshee had us to write his will, 
leaving all to his wife during her lifetime. Before the will 
was completed, he named the day and year and spot where 
he found peace in believing, and added : "Since that hour T 
have never had a doubt of my acceptance with God." He 
wished to be laid on another bed in the same room, and as 
we three preachers were carrying him he said: "Now I am 
carried by preachers ; soon I shall be carried by angels." His 
will was then brought and read to him. He approved it, and 
was raised up in the bed, and as he signed the paper he said : 
"It is growing dark." We laid him down upon the' pillow, 
and he was gone. I have witnessed many deaths, but none 
more impressive than his. 

Admitted on trial : Grinsfield Taylor, W. H. Keene, Patrick 
Reed, J. A. Williamson, R. Washburn, H. A. Guthrie, Mitchell 
Swaim, Thomas M. Dula, William K. Foster, William K. 
Cross, William A. Lawson. 

Readmitted : Stephen D. Adams. 

Located : E. W. Chanceaulme, James A. Reagan. 

Discontinued : Arthur Ely, George W. Wells. 

Superannuated : C. D. Smith, J. dimming, R. Gannaway, 
R. W: Pickens, E. F. Sevier, Thomas Wilkerson, W. B. Win- 


ton, Jesse Cunnyngham, J. M. Kelley, George Ekin, R. M. 
Stevens, Thomas Stringfield, G. W. Renfro, R. A. Giddens. 

Left without appointment : G. W. Roark, George Stewart, 
N. C. Edmondson. 

Withdrawn: Hiram Tarter. 
*- Died : David Adams. 

Transferred to the Pacific Conference: Adonijah Williams. 

Numbers in society: White, 38,573 5 colored, 3,885. Total, 
42,458. Increase, 963. 

Local preachers, 347; traveling preachers, no. 

Collected for missions, $3,440.67. 

Spent for Sunday school books, $893.63* 

Edward W. Chanceaulme was received by transfer 
from the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in 1847, an d was appointed to Tazewell 
Circuit and Sandy Mission. He was transferred to the 
Missouri Conference about the year 1852, but returned 
to Tazewell, Va., in 1856. His life was divided be- 
tween pastoral work and teaching. He was married to 
Miss Betty Louisa Chapman in 1848. He died in 
Pearisburg, Va.y October 17, 1862. Mr. Chanceaulme 
was at one time a professor in Holston Conference 
Female College, in Asheville, N. C. He and his wife 
also taught together in Hendersonville, N. C, and in 
Jeffersonville (now Tazewell), Va. 

Mr. Chanceaulme was born in Philadelphia, but the 
family afterwards removed to Baltimore, where he 
was reared and educated. For these and other reasons 
he had the culture and manners of a Christian gen- 
tleman. His health was never robust, and he was of a 
somber and silent temperament. He did not mix as 
well with the plain people of this mountain region as 
if he had been born among them. But he was one of 
the purest and noblest men that God ever made. He 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 157 

was scholarly and was an excellent teacher. A.s a 
preacher he was greatly above mediocrity. He thought 
deeply, and his style was chaste and forcible. He was 
a man of prayer, and he was deeply imbued with the 
mind which was in Christ Jesus. He was a fit com- 
panion of that chaste and elegant woman with whom 
he lived. 

In the Southern Advocate, published in Bristol, 
Tenn., by Neal and Comann, of date November 6, 
1862, I find the following personal note : 

Rev. E. W. Chanceaulme, of Pearisburg, Va., recently 
ended his earthly career. He was for some years a member 
of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, from which he was transferred to the St. 
Louis Conference. In consequence of impaired health he re- 
turned to Virginia and became principal of a popular female 
school. He was eminently pious, with superior social and 
intellectual endowments, and his death is a calamity not soon 
to be repaired. The weeping widow and orphan, with a large 
circle of admiring friends, mourn the departure of this sweet- 
spirited Christian minister. 

Mrs. Betty Louisa Chanceaulme {nee Chapman) was 
born in Pearisburg, Va., October 3, 1821 ; and died at 
the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Reeves Walker, Bristol, 
Va., January 31, 1894. 

It was her tender hand that planted and nurtured 
the vine which grew and blossomed into Sullins Col- 
lege. In 1867 she came to Bristol and founded a 
school on Main Street, but subsequently transferred 
it to what was called Solar Hill. Under her skillful 
management it soon grew to such proportions that 
she was unable to conduct it alone, and Dr. David 
Sullins was induced to take the presidency of it. It 


was named then Mountain View High School. The 
school soon grew into the proportions of a college, and 
the trustees dubbed it Sullins after its President. 

From her girlhood and through life Mrs. Chan- 
ceaulme was of delicate physical development but of 
remarkable nerve and will force. Educated and re- 
fined, she graced the social circle; and her life shone 
with a serene radiance in Church work and 'in the 
classroom of the school. . No work which duty sug- 
gested was omitted or abandoned by this persistent and 
faithful woman. Many a flower that had wilted in 
the heart of the afflicted revived under her sympathet- 
ic touch ; many a despondent mind took courage when 
she came; many a disheartened youthful spirit was 
cheered and invigorated by her skillful instruction. 

It was perhaps as principal teacher through a decade 
of years in Dr. Sullins's early faculty in Bristol that 
her greatest work was done. A model of Christian 
womanhood, a highly equipped and experienced teach- 
er, a diligent disciplinarian, genial, motherly, saintly, 
she was a star in the educational sky. She was one of 
the great women of Holston and of Methodism. Her 
widowed daughter, Mrs. Rives Walker, x lives in Taze- 
well, Va., a woman of superior gifts, of splendid edu- 
cation, a fine musician, and a devout Christian. 

At this session Adonijah Williams was transferred 
to the Pacific Conference. I remember him as a good- 
natured, sociable man of average parts. What and 
how he did in the far West I have not learned. 

I gave a notice of that stalwart man, David Adams, 
in Volume III., pages 89-91. He was a man of stout 

1 Since this was written Mrs. Walker has married again. 

CONFERENCES OF l8$2 AND 1 853. 1 59 

build physically and mentally. In his latter days he 
and his son, Stephen D., did not agree ; but each really 
had reason to be proud of the other. David Adams 
was a man of high order of intellect by nature, with a 
trace of severity in his composition. Stephen was an 
accurate scholar and a man of prodigious genius. I 
heard him preach often, and he would have taken rank 
as an orator in any age or country. But he was fond 
of controversy, especially of the personal sort, and he 
sometimes set his coulter too deep. He thus made 
enemies and involved himself in serious troubles. He 
was an admirer of Brownlow, and Brownlow's exam- 
ple was responsible for some of the mistakes of this 
brilliant man. 

At the Conference held in Abingdon, Va., in 1850 
James A. Reagan and myself were appointed to Ashe- 
ville Circuit. In company with George W. Alexan- 
der and David Sullins, we made the trip to Buncombe 
on horseback. In the bounds of the Holston Confer- 
ence there was not a mile of railway at that time. 
Our first night in Buncombe was spent in the hos- 
pitable home of Dr. James Wood, at Warm Springs 
(now Hot Springs). The next day (Saturday) we 
dined with Mr. Samuel Smith at the mouth of Ivy. 
Mr. Smith was a hospitable and well-to-do Baptist; 
but his wife, who was the daughter of Beaden Baird, 
and her family were Methodists. The night was spent 
with Col. James M. Alexander at the place which now 
bears his name. The four rode together to Salem 
Church, on Reems Creek, to find a large and curious 
congregation awaiting the new preachers. Reagan 
preached and made a fine impression ; the Spirit was 


evidently present. On one of the rear seats sat two 
girls who were cousins, Mary Weaver and Ann Vance. 
As the two circuit preachers, who were bachelors, 
walked in with their saddlebags over their left arms, 
Ann whispered to Mary: "Which will you take?" 
"The short one," was the reply. Then said Mary: 
"Which will you take?" Ann was compelled to take 
Hobson's choice, and she replied: "The long one; he 
looks so much like Father Haskew." All this was 
only pleasantry, but the humorous words of these 
girls were prophetic. Before the Conference year was 
out James- and Mary were husband and wife. But 
the long-legged man was more difficult to capture, 
and it was nearly five years before Richard and Ann 
became one. No two men were ever more fortunate 
in being thus captured and incarcerated. 

Asheville Circuit, to which the two bachelor preach- 
ers were appointed, embraced the larger part of Bun- 
combe County and a small part of Haywood County. 
Buncombe embraced at that time the present Bun- 
combe County and the larger part of Madison County. 
The appointments were twenty-eight, and the circuit 
was a four-weeks circuit. This circuit has since been 
multiplied into Leicester, Sulphur Springs, Hot 
Springs, Marshall, and Weaverville Circuits and 
Weaverville Station — six pastoral charges. The sal- 
ary was one hundred dollars — eight and a third dol- 
lars per month, or about twenty-eight cents a sermon. 

As though a sermon every day was not labor suf- 
ficient, the junior held night prayer meetings at sev- 
eral places on the circuit. At a prayer meeting on 
Turkey Creek seven boys and girls professed religion, 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. l6l 

all by the name of Swaim, one of whom afterwards be- 
came a member of the Holston Conference. 

The camp meeting at Turkey Creek Camp Ground 
in the fall of 1851 was a remarkable one. The preach- 
ers at the beginning of the year found the circuit in a 
good spiritual condition. They had no time for pro- 
tracted meetings, and for revival work depended whol- 
ly on the regular services and the camp meetings, of 
which there were three on the circuit — Reems Creek, 
Hominy, and Turkey Creek. The last-mentioned was 
an ovation from beginning to end. The presiding eld- 
er, William Hicks, was at his best. It was estimated 
that over one hundred persons were converted from 
Sunday morning to Monday morning of the meeting, 
covering twenty hours. The excitement was so great 
that some persons thought that we ought not to at- 
tempt to have preaching at the eleven-o'clock hour 
Sunday; but the presiding elder, Brother Hicks, was 
equal to the emergency, and the craft of his sermon 
rode triumphantly over the highest billows of the rag- 
ing spiritual floods. 

Some three hundred persons professed conversion 
during the year, which was only a part of the good 
accomplished ; for to this must be added a number of 
reclamations, a general revival of the membership, 
and a gracious influence upon other Churches and 
the community at large. 

James Americus Reagan was born in Monroe Coun- 
ty, Tenn., October 20, 1824. His parents were Pres- 
byterians. He was reared in Cleveland, Tenn. There 
in an academy he was educated. He was licensed 
to preach in 1846, The same year he was admitted 


into the Holston Conference and appointed to Taze- 
well Circuit, in Virginia. He located in 1853 on ac- 
count of ill health and studied medicine. He got his 
degree of M.D. from two medical schools, one of 
which was the Medical Department of Vanderbilt Uni- 
versity. He spent a useful life in the practice of med- 
icine, getting an extensive practice and making a com- 
fortable living. Practically he never located, but he 
did a great deal of preaching. He was especially in 
demand for funeral or memorial sermons. He was 
seven years in the itinerancy. His long life was 
crowded with work. He was six years on the Medical 
Examining Board of North Carolina, three years 
President of the Buncombe County Medical Society, 
for some time consulting physician of the Mission 
Hospital (in Asheville), eight years on the Buncombe 
County Board of Commissioners, for some years Treas- 
urer of the Board of Finance in the Holston Confer- 
ence and Secretary of the Board of Education, and 
for fifteen years, on the Board of Education of the 
Western North Carolina Conference. 

Dr. Reagan always took a pride in doing everything 
he undertook to do and to do it thoroughly. He 
was laborious and painstaking. Hence the important 
offices which were thrust upon him. He was a care- 
ful reader, and read a number of standard Methodist 
works, besides reading an extensive course of medi- 
cine and the regular issues of medical journals. He 
wrote much for the newspapers and medical journals. 
He received the degrees of A.M. and D.D. from Weav- 
erville College. Dr. Reagan was a surgeon as well as 
a physician, and practiced surgery in four counties. 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 163 

As a preacher he was thoughtful and earnest. His 
logic was clear and his illustrations apposite. In his 
palmy days he preached with spiritual power. He'of- 
ten sat down rejoicing in spirit, while his congrega- 
tions were weeping and showing signs of spiritual ex- 
hilaration. He was of a sanguine temperament, decid- 
edly optimistic ; and his abounding optimism, as applied 
to himself as well as to others, exposed him to the 
charge of egotism. But I can safely assert that any 
self-complacency in which he may have indulged was 
adequately offset by his perpetually buoyant opinion 
of others. He spoke evil of no man, but he had a 
charity almost unlimited. Dr. Reagan was a leader in 
the ends of the earth where he lived, and the world is 
the better for his having lived in it. 

Dr. Reagan was one of the founders of Weaver- 
ville College. Before and during the Civil War the 
Masonic and Temperance Hall at Reems Creek had 
been used for high school purposes. When the war 
was over the hall had been burned, the negroes freed, 
and the money in the hands of the people was worth- 
less. Dr. Reagan called the people together and sug- 
gested the erection of a college building. They agreed 
to the proposition, and a brick building was erected 
and Weaverville College was chartered. Montraville 
Weaver gave the land and a part of the money. The 
principal contributors of money were John S. Weaver, 
William R. Baird, and Dr. Reagan. 

Dr. Reagan, who had been President of the Sons 
of Temperance High School, now became the first 
President of the college, and he held this position till 
he was succeeded by Dr. James S. Kennedy. .Mr. 


Jack Campbell and Mr. E. M. Goolsby, graduates of 
Emory and Henry College, were elected professors 
and' served for a few years. Weaverville College has 
had a career of great usefulness, giving a liberal edu- 
cation to scores of young men and women who, if 
that institution had not existed, would have lived in 
comparative ignorance and obscurity. 

In late years considerable additions have been made 
to the buildings of the institution. 

Dr. Reagan died at his home, in Weaverville, N. C, 
October 24, 1910, aged eighty-six years and four days. 
He was married in 1851 to Miss Mary Weaver, a 
daughter of the Rev. Montraville Weaver; and she 
died in 1890. A few years later he married Miss Mary 
Parks, of Hillsboro, N. C, who lived only a year or 
two. He was married a third time to Mrs. Annie 
Nealy, a niece of the Hon Nicholas Woodfin, who 
survives (1910). His children are all by his first mar- 
riage, and are Mrs. T. H. Reeves, W. L. Reagan, J. 
J. Reagan, Mrs. C. A. Nichols, and Mrs. E. M. Gools- 
by. One son, J. A. Reagan, Jr., died in 1907. 

Dr. Reagan was a relative of the late Judge John H. 
Reagan, of Texas, and I make this an excuse for the 
introduction of a sketch of that distinguished man 
from the pen of Bishop Hoss. This sketch appeared in 
the Nashville Christian Advocate of March 23, 1905, 
and is as follows: 

The death of Judge John Henninger Reagan, which took 
place at Palestine, Tex., on the 6th inst., removes one of the 
most notable of all the men that have figured in the history 
of this State. He was born in Sevier County, Tenn., in 1818, 
and was therefore in his eighty-seventh year. Three years 
ago J had the pleasure o.f a long conversation with him at 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. 165 

Hot Springs, in Arkansas, and learned many facts about 
his career that, in my judgment, will be interesting to the 

He came of good, sturdy Methodist stock. Dr. James A. 
Reagan, who was for a long time an itinerant preacher in the 
Holston Conference, is of the same family; and so was that 
fine old lady, the mother of the late Rev. A. N. Harris, of 
Washington County, whom I distinctly remember as one of the 
pattern saints of the Uriel Church, three miles south of Jones- 
boro. They are a dependable folk — plain, straightforward, and 
self-reliant. I have never known or heard of one of them that 
was not worthy of respect. 

The early life of Judge Reagan was not easy. From his 
youth up he was compelled to labor for his own living with 
his own hands; and when he came to eminence, he was not 
ashamed to acknowledge the fact, but rather gloried in it. 
Before he was eighteen, he had made up his mind to seek a 
wider field than could be found in the mountain region of his 
birth, and so set his face toward Texas. His friend and 
employer, Dr. Brabson, lent him a horse to ride to the Ten- 
nessee River, on which he was to take a steamboat. Another 
boy came to the river with him to take the horse back, and 
frankly said to him as they parted: "Well, John, I hate to 
part with you ; but still I'm glad to see you going, for I think 
that I can now get Melissa." 

In the seventy years that have since intervened, Judge 
Reagan has had a hand in nearly everything of importance 
that has occurred in the* commonwealth of his adoption. He 
possessed all the qualities necessary to enable him to play a 
prominent part in the life and growth of a pioneer community. 
Nobody ever thought of him -as brilliant, but from the be- 
ginning everybody recognized him as the possessor of a large 
stock of common sense and an absolutely inflexible integrity. 
Added to these qualities were an untiring energy and a fearless- 
ness that quailed not in the presence of any danger. He was 
ambitious for fame and fortune, but determined to pursue 
them by direct and open methods. 

From the beginning his fellow citizens trusted him. In 


some way or other he had picked up at least as much knowl- 
edge of surveying as George Washington had, and he soon 
found abundant use for it. Later he became an active officer 
in the militia of the republic. His native disposition and the 
conditions by which he was surrounded made it inevitable that 
he should study law. I suspect that he began the practice of 
that intricate science before he had amassed a very large store 
of legal erudition ; but he had a capacity for thinking as well 
as a love for reading, and by the time he was thirty-five he 
had been elevated to the bench, and made a just and able 
judge, administering justice without fear or favor. 

In 1857 he was elected to the Federal Congress, and held 
that post till the beginning of the Civil War, in 1861. On the 
organization of the Confederate government he became 
Postmaster General in the cabinet of President Davis, and so 
continued till the collapse came, in 1865. Every other man 
that belonged to either the Federal or the Confederate cabinet 
during that stormy period has long since died. Along with 
Mr. Davis and other leaders, he was arrested and imprisoned 
on the charge of treason. I wonder whether there is an 
American now alive so bigoted and narrow as not to rejoice 
that a nolle pros was afterwards entered to all the indictments. 

As soon as Judge Reagan's disabilities were removed, he 
was again sent to Congress and, after two or three terms, 
was chosen to the Senate. In this latter body he added to his 
reputation with every passing year and achieved the leader- 
ship in many ways. Before the close of his second term, 
however, he resigned to accept a place on the Texas Railroad 
Commission. This was his last public service, and lasted for 
many years. It will be seen that he held, first and last, almost 
every office that Texas could .give him except the governor- 
ship of the State. He wanted that also, and could have had 
it; but when it was viitually tendered to him on a platform 
which his judgment did not approve, he declined to take it. 

It is a matter for congratulation that his whole record is 
free from stain of every sort. He never paltered with the 
truth, he never abjured his honest convictions to achieve suc- 
cess, and he never used his opportunities as a public servant 

CONFERENCES OF lS$2 AND 1853. 167 

to heap up a personal fortune. What he believed, he believed ; 
and it never entered his thought to barter away his principles 
for sordid gain. An old-fashioned State-rights, strict-con- 
struction Democrat, he would have remained true to the 
teachings of Jefferson and Jackson if everybody else had 
deserted and left him entirely alone. 

On all moral issues he was sure to take the right side. 
When the question of prohibiting the liquor traffic by con- 
stitutional amendment came up a few years later, he at once 
and unequivocably gave his voice and influence in favor of the 
policy, though he must have known that it would set a great 
array of hostile influences to work against him ; and he stoutly 
stood his ground even when Mr. Davis, to whom he was de- 
votedly attached, suffered himself to be drawn into the discus- 
sion on the other side. 

All his life long Judge Reagan was a strong and consistent 
Methodist. His baptismal name, John Henninger, was given 
him by his parents in honor of a famous Holston preacher, and 
it must have carried with it a good influence. The memory of 
his early home, with its simple pieties, helped him, no doubt, in 
the hard struggle through which he often passed and kept him 
true and steady when the cross currents of life were beating 
upon him. 

Three or four years ago he concluded, after an absence of 
more than sixty years, to make a visit .to Sevier County. His 
pastor tried to dissuade him, saying to him: "Everybody is 
dead that you knew and loved, and it will only make you sad 
to see the changes that have taken place. Besides, nearly every 
man in that section is a Republican and will not be well inclined 
to the sole survivor of Jefferson Davis's cabinet." But his 
mind was made up, and he took the trip. His eyes fairly 
sparkled as he told me about it. When he reached Knoxville, 
a committee was ready to receive him. For several days he 
was the guest of the city, receiving the most distinguished 
courtesies. On the road from that place to Sevierville, twenty- 
five miles away, he was met, to his amazement, by a procession 
on horseback and, with a band of music, escorted to the town 
and forced to make a public address. "What could I do ?" said 


he to me. "It would have been indecent under such circum- 
stances to talk politics, and so I simply talked about old times.'' 
The whole county laid itself out to show hospitality to him as 
the most distinguished man ever born in its limits. He met a 
world of his kinsfolk, and was deeply impressed with the size 
of the families. "I used to wonder in Texas," he told them, 
''where all the Tennesseeans came from ; but since I see that a 
family of ten or fifteen is not an unusual thing, my wonder has 
ceased." And he inquired about Melissa. What old man could 
go back to the enchanted ground of his youth without raising a 
question concerning the fair-faced girl who caught his fancy in 
those far-off days ? It turned out that his friend who left him 
on the river bank had got Melissa, as he hoped ; that they had 
reared a large and respectable family ; and that the face of the 
earth was covered with their grandchildren and remoter de- 
scendants. Pardon, Mr. Editor, this trivial incident. There is 
a human touch about it that may redeem its lightness. 

One of the most useful local preachers of the Con- 
ference died this Conference year — namely, the Rev. 
John Key, who was born at Carter's Station, Greene 
County, Tenn., January 18, 1798, and died at his home, 
in Monroe County, Tenn., February 10, 1854, of 
congestion of the brain. He joined the Church in 
1823, and removed* to Monroe County in 1825, and 
about that time was licensed to preach. With the ex- 
ception of about five years on circuits as a supply, he 
served his Church as a local preacher to the day of 
his death. Besides a great deal of effective work in 
the pulpit, he served as a steward; and not content 
with collecting, he set a good example by liberal giv- 
ing. A large proportion of his time was spent in 
preaching and attending to the affairs of the Church. 
His hospitality was proverbial. Crowds feasted at his 
table on public occasions, yet he prospered in worldly 

CONFERENCES OF I&$2 AND 1853. 169 

affairs. It seemed a marvel that he could spend so 
much of his time and substance in the cause of religion 
and education and yet always have a comfortable sup- 
port for his family. A friend of his used to remark : 
"John does not serve God for naught, for everything 
he touches prospers." 

Mr. Key, though himself a man of limited educa- 
tion, was a friend of sanctified learning. He perhaps 
did more for the erection of Hiwassee College than 
any other man, and he stickled at no expense in the 
education of his children; and his expenditures in 
this direction were not in vain, for his daughter Eliz- 
abeth, an accomplished lady, became the wife of Dr. 
John H. Brunner, who for a long time was President 
of Hiwassee College ; two of his sons became able and 
successful lawyers, and one of the two, David Mc- 
Kendree Key, was a lieutenant colonel in the Confed- 
erate army. After the war he was appointed to the 
United States Senate to fill out an unexpired term of 
Andrew Johnson at his death, his incumbency lasting 
nearly six years. He served four years as Postmaster 
General under President Hayes. A little before the 
expiration of his term as Postmaster General he was 
appointed Federal judge, his district including East 
Tennessee. He died on the retired list. The other son, 
Summerfield Axley Key, was for many years a very 
prominent lawyer in Chattanooga. 

John Fletcher Key was a member of the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church, South, till he removed to Phil- 
adelphia, Pa. He was in the post office there for thir- 
ty years. He died a Methodist. 

The honorable careers of John Key's children, how- 


ever, were not altogether due to their educational ad- 
vantages. There was in the father a robust men- 
tal constitution, and his wife seems to have been his 
equal in this respect. Mrs. Key spent her later years 
with her daughter, Mrs. Brunner. I visited Dr. Brun- 
ner a short time before her death. She was then sick 
and in bed. I remarked to her, "The Democratic 
editors are criticizing your son pretty severely for ac- 
cepting a position in President Hayes's cabinet," when 
she replied, "And there is not a single one of them 
that wouldn't have taken it if he could have got it." 

Mr. Key preached from a variety of texts, and he 
was a plain, practical, and thoughtful preacher. His 
forte, however, was the camp meeting altar. Here 
he was at home. When mourners were called, he 
would gather about him his true yokefellows, and at 
all hours of the night you might hear that manly voice 
of his in song and prayer ; and if the work lagged, he. 
would probably mount a bench and exhort for half an 
hour at a time, and not infrequently he would replen- 
ish the mourners' bench with a new recruit of peni- 
tents. James Axley used to remark that there was 
an unusual edge in Key's .prayers. He was eminently 
a man of prayer ; and when he entered into the closet, 
he made it a rule to pray until he felt that he had 
prayed. Here lay the secret of his success in the pul- 
pit and at the altar. 

In 1842 a cold and unsatisfactory camp meeting was 

held at Morganton, and the people were anxious to 

try it over ; but the preacher in charge had not time 

* for another camp meeting at that place, and Mr. Key 

was induced to hold another, which he agreed to do 

CONFERENCES OF 1852 AND 1853. l 7 1 

if the people would repair the camp ground and pray 
for a revival. This they did. The meeting was held. 
It lasted two weeks, and was one of great power. It 
was long remembered as "the great camp meeting." 
A hundred names were added to the class books of 
the circuit. 

His hold on the affections of the people, especially 
the middle classes, was remarkable. * He was a great 
peacemaker. He was^ often called on to act in that 
capacity. His friends did not remember of his failing 
in any case to effect a reconciliation between parties 
at variance. 

A word about his true yokefellows : 

Joseph Forshee closed a useful and almost blame- 
less life in 1855. Lewis Carter died triumphantly many 
years since. He was a power in the pulpit. If he 
had had the advantages which many have in these 
days, what a man he might have made! He was 
heard to say that he was not acquainted with a single 
rule in grammar or rhetoric, yet his language was re- 
markably pure and correct. This, added to his com- 
manding appearance and graceful gesticulation, made 
him a pleasant speaker, and his piety and zeal made 
him a useful one. Mrs. Brunner in a letter says of 
him : "Next to J^sse Forshee, he was naturally the most 
eloquent man I ever knew." Carter Trim died in 
Texas during the Civil War. Jesse Forshee was an il- 
literate man, but wonderfully gifted in prayer and 
exhortation. When he was converted, his ignorance 
was extreme. In his prayers he would use expres- 
sions which, as some thought, bordered on sacrilege. 
This was so much noticed that the authorities appoint- 


ed two men to talk to him to persuade him to be more 
careful in the use of language or to desist from pray- 
ing in public. It was a cruel blow to poor Jesse. Aft- 
erwards referring to this fact in a love feast, he said 
that it nearly killed him. Said he: "Forshee is a 
rough man. He is ignorant ; he does not know a let- 
ter in the book. But he was the wickedest man in 
God's universe; yet God, for Christ's sake, pardoned 
his sins and set him free, and he must pray, brethren, 
p'int blank — Forshee must pray !" 

At a camp meeting which Jesse Forshee attended 
many were compelled to sleep in the straw under the 
shed, among them Forshee. The boys talked, laughed, 
and joked to a late hour, when Forshee arose and said 
with emphasis : "Boys, it's time to go to sleep ; this is 
Jess Forshee, p'int blank." Forshee was a man of 
strong will and powerful muscle, and could have in- 
timidated the boys, which he did not do ; but such was 
the reverence they had for him that quiet was re- 
stored in a few moments and Forshee and the boys 
passed gently together into dreamland. 

Conferences of 1854, 1855, 1856, and 1857. 

The Conference met in its thirty-first session in 
Cleveland, Tenn., October 11, 1854, Bishop George F. 
Pierce President, and W. C. Graves Secretary. 

William H. Rogers offered the following resolution : 

Resolved, by the members of this Conference, that we dis- 
approve of the practice of our preachers in leaving their charges 
before the work is fully done, and, further, we disapprove of 
premature matrimonial engagements. 

The resolution was seconded ; but a motion being 
made to lay it on the table, there was a storm of sec- 
onds, and to the table it went by an almost unanimous 
vote. The objectional feature in the resolution was 
the clause relating to matrimonial engagements. I ob- 
served that R. M. Hickey, a man very near the age 
of old-bachelordom, was the loudest in seconding the 
tabling motion. This was an unmistakable deliver- 
ance of the Conference on ministerial celibacy, and 
especially on the question of Conference dictation in 
the matter. 

The Rev. John M. Carlisle, President of Holston 
Conference Female College, was introduced to the 
Conference. Mr. Carlisle, I believe, never became 
a member of the Conference. He was at the time a 
member of the South Carolina Conference. 

A communication was received from the Jonesboro 
Lodge No. 40 of the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows requesting that David Sullins be appointed As- 




CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, l8 5°V ^57- 1/5 

sociate Principal of the female high school of that 
order in Jonesboro. The Conference requested the 
bishop to comply with the request. 

The Rev. Dr. John B. McFerrin, editor of the 
Nashville Christian Advocate, was introduced to the 
Conference; and he presented a memorial from the 
Tennessee Conference for the merging of the Nash- 
ville, Memphis, and Holston Christian Advocates into 
one paper. Dr. McFerrin then addressed the Confer- 
ence and made a strong argument for the merging 
proposition. He called attention to the fact that the 
Holston paper was in debt, and argued that its field 
was not sufficient to support a paper, that it would al- 
ways be encumbered with debt, and that with the 
three papers united in one a respectable sheet could 
be published without loss. To the objection offered 
by some of the brethren that Holston had local contro- 
versies and needed a local paper to defend her inter- 
ests, he replied that the great Ross controversy, which 
called the paper into being, had passed away; and 
that in the future, if a controversy should stick its head 
above the ground, Brownlow was here to strike it 
down. E. E. Wiley moved that the Conference de- 
cline the proposal of the brethren of the Tennessee 
Conference. The motion was seconded, and consider- 
able discussion pro and con followed. The motion, 
being put to the vote, prevailed, 36 to 25. But after a 
statement from Mr. Brownlow as to the difficulties 
under which the paper had been conducted and its 
financial embarrassment, notwithstanding the facts that 
Dr. Pattxm's family were living at the time on his 
farm at Kingsport and he (Brownlow) boarded the 


editor free of charge, a motion for a reconsideration 
was made and carried, and the proposal of the Ten- 
nessee Conference was acceded to. I have forgotten to 
state that one argument for the merger was the agree- 
ment of the Nashville Christian Advocate to assume 
the liabilities of the Holston Christian Advocate. But 
this action of the Conference did not prevent the inau- 
guration of local enterprises after this. There was a 
demand for a local Methodist paper which no paper 
published outside of Holston could satisfy. Hence the 
Herald of Truth, published by William Hicks at Hen- 
dersonville, N. C. ; the Religions Intelligencer, pub- 
lished by William C. Graves • at Morristown, Tenn. ; 
the Holston Journal, published by C. W. Charlton at 
Knoxville, Tenn. ; and finally the Holston Methodist, 
which was at first started as a private enterprise, but 
was finally adopted as a Conference organ and recog- 
nized by the General Conference. 

During the Conference year Dr. Patton, editor of 
the Holston Christian Advocate, had died in peace; 
and the Rev. J. N. S. Huffaker, who at the time was 
station preacher in East Knoxville, had assumed the 
editorial management of the paper pro tern., and had 
exhibited fine editorial talent. 

One of the interesting features of this session of 
the Conference was the presence of the Rev. Charles 
Taylor, missionary to China. He addressed a mis- 
sionary mass meeting of the Conference, detailing his 
experiences in China in connection with the great re- 
bellion which occurred during his residence in ' that 
country. His address was intensely interesting, and 
was calculated to .stir up the missionary .spirit in the 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. 1 77 

Conference and the people present. Taylor was not a 
brilliant man ; but was evidently honest, laborious, and 
decidedly pious. 

Admitted on trial: James B. McMahon, James L. Reed, 
Johnson P. Gibson, James A. Davis, John Spears, Frank Rich- 
ardson, Thomas J. Pope, Elijah Connor, Philip S. Sutton, John 
T. Stanbury. 

Readmitted : S. B. Harwell. 

Located: Newton C. Edmondson, Augustine F. Shannon, 
William Robeson, Elkanah W. King, W. T. Dowell. 

Discontinued : W. K. Cross, H. A. Guthrie. 

Superannuated : E. F. Sevier, R. Gannaway, W. B. Winton, 
Thomas Wilkerson, R. W. Pickens, James Dimming, C. D. 
Smith, Jesse Cunnyngham, George Ekin, G. W. Renfro, U. 

Died : Washington Boring, Samuel Patton. 

Numbers in society: White, 39,565; colored, 4,031; Indian, 
200. Total, 43,796. Increase, 1,338. 

Local preachers, 354; traveling preachers, 125. 

Collected for missions, $3,355.02; for the Bible cause, $512.10. 

At this Conference my presiding elder, William 
Hicks, complained without malice that I left my charge, 
Tazewell Station, during the year without permission. 
I was asked for an explanation, which I gave. It was 
known that Stephen D. Adams, Principal of the Burns- 
ville High School, at Burnsville, N. G, had died dur- 
ing the year, and I was elected by the trustees to take 
his place. Intending to accept, I rode to Kingsport, 
Tenn., to ask of my presiding elder permission to 
leave my charge ; but he had gone to Jonesville, Va., to 
hold a quarterly meeting. I then proceeded to that 
place and informed him why I had sought to see him, 
but at the same time informed him that I had changed 
my purpose and wished to finish the year at Tazewell. 


He said that he would have released me if I had de- 
sired it. When I reached Tazewell, I found a re- 
vival in progress in my church. The charge had been 
left in the hands of the Rev. John M. Kelley, a super- 
annuate, and of a local preacher then in charge of the 
academy. When I left there were signs of revival, 
which had been followed up in daily services for a few 
days. I took hold of the work vigorously, and many 
sinners were converted and the Church greatly re- 
freshed. It was a work of unusual power. About the 
close of the meeting I received an urgent petition from 
the Secretary of the Burnsville Board to take charge 
of the school. At the Conference of 1852 Adams had 
been severely handled, and on that account he and the 
Burnsville people were disaffected toward the Church. 
Being a personal friend of Adams, I felt that I might 
exert some influence toward removing the disaffec- 
tion if I took charge of the school. Presuming on the 
certainty of release at Tazewell, leaving the Church 
in charge of resident preachers, and notifying the pre- 
siding elder of my departure, I rode to Burnsville and 
opened a five months' session. The school was a flour- 
ishing one. During the session the Rev. John Rey- 
nolds, of Asheville, assisted me in a meeting in Burns- 
ville, held in the academy, which resulted in a power- 
ful revival, and which entirely uprooted the disaffec- 
tion. Before my case came up in the Conference, 
and perhaps as a preparation for it, my presiding eld- 
er offered for adoption a resolution condemning the 
act in a preacher of leaving his charge without per- 
mission; but for some reason the resolution was 
promptly tabled. My explanation satisfied the Con- 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. I79 

ference, and my character passed, not, however, with- 
out a discordant note, Joseph Haskew wishing to know 
whether I would have made the change if there had 
not been more money in the school position than in 
that of the station. Having been a humble instru- 
ment in helping to save the school and the Burnsville 
Church, I resigned in favor of my successor, the Rev. 
T. P. Thomas, a graduate of Emory and Henry Col- 
lege, a fine scholar, and a Christian gentleman. 

Newton C. Edmondson was admitted on trial in 1849 
and located in 1854. His character was arrested at 
the Conference of 1852 on the charge of failing to 
keep a marriage contract, and his case was referred to 
his presiding elder. During the year a committee of in- 
vestigation was called. Edmondson did not attend 
and made no defense. The committee decided a trial 
necessary, and he was accordingly suspended from the 
functions of the ministry till Conference. Edmondson 
received no formal notice of his suspension. He was 
living at the time in Jasper, Tenn., and I was preacher 
in charge of Jasper Circuit. I advised him, as a mat- 
ter of policy, to abstain from preaching, but advised 
him to exhort as much as he pleased. Edmondson was 
a man of obscure origin. When scarcely grown he 
had been licensed to exhort ; and his pastor being sick, 
he had gone round the circuit for him two or three 
times. In these rounds he found an excellent young 
lady with whom he fell in love and whom he promised 
to marry. He had seen but little of the world, and she 
was the finest young woman he had ever seen. But aft- 
er being licensed to preach, joining the Conference, and 
extending his acquaintance, he found that there were 


other fine young women in the world, and he fancied 
that he had found one whom he preferred to his first 
love. He sought release from the contract, but not in 
a candid and manly manner. 

Just before the Conference of 1853 I held a meet- 
ing at Henninger's Chapel, in Sequatchee Valley, and 
Brother Edmondson gave me valuable assistance, ex- 
horting instead of preaching; but, really, his exhorta- 
tions were sermons of high order. 

We started together to the Conference, which was 
to be held at Wytheville, Va. On Tuesday about noon 
we reached a camp meeting a few miles west of Kings- 
ton, at Asbury Camp Ground, I think, conducted by 
Crockett Godby. It had been a drag — no penitents, no 
conversions. Praying circles had not been formed in 
the groves. I preached at 3 p.m. and Brother Ed- 
mondson at night, for I did not let Godby know that 
Edmondson had been suspended. After my little 
talk, and I had brought the fire from Henninger's, I 
advised the brethren and sisters to form praying cir- 
cles in the groves. They did so and returned at sun- 
down with songs and shouts. Experienced laymen ad- 
vised that penitents be called at once, and that preach- 
ing be dispensed with. The question, however, was 
left to Edmondson, who was red-hot spiritually, and 
who had a sermon in him which he felt bound to de- 
liver. The noise at the stand was so great that it 
seemed impossible to secure sufficient quiet for a ser- 
mon. But Edmondson was equal to the situation. A 
long hymn was read, and a long prayer was prayed, 
and by that time there was the desired quiet, a lull in 
the storm. The text was: "For the great day of his 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1 &S6, *&57- l8l 


wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?" Ed- 
mondson was a natural orator. His physical build — 
for he was tall and portly — his mouth, his voice, and 
his emotional nature, all united to strong powers of 
logic, made him a powerful speaker. I believe I can 
safely say that I never knew his equal in the natural 
qualities of an orator, although he had not the educa- 
tion and the polish essential to world-wide celebrity 
as a speaker. 

The first half hour of the sermon was devoted to the 
question, "Who shall be able to stand?" and it was an 
unimpassioned discussion of the doctrines of repent- 
ance, faith, justification, regeneration, growth in grace, 
and sanctification. The discussion flowed like a low- 
land stream, smoothly, serenely; but all the while 
that scintillating intellect and that strong voice which 
was music itself held the attention of the audience. 
But when he came to discuss the circumstances which 
shall precede the great day of God's wrath, he be- 
came more animated. His descriptive talent came to 
the front, his heart warmed, and his fancy coruscated ; 
and when he began to portray the circumstances con- 
nected with that great day, attention was on tiptoe; 
and when Gabriel was ready to start upon his mission 
of summoning the nations of the earth to the bar of 
judgment and the preacher in falsetto said, "Go, Ga- 
briel !" the excitement in the congregation was beyond 
description. Christians shouted in triumph and sin- 
ners wailed in agony, calling for mercy. The preacher 
paused till the storm somewhat subsided, then began 
again, and was soon compelled by the noise to halt 
again. He was constrained to halt several times, but 


he persevered till he had finished his sermon. Then, 
amid great excitement, penitents were called to the al- 
tar. At least fifty came, men, women, and children; 
and now a night's work was before the willing workers. 
A half hour had not passed till there was a dreadful 
reaction. Apparently all excitement had passed away. 
The silence was dreadful. There was a moral dark- 
ness, which, like that of Egypt, could be felt. But 
the laborers worked on till an angry man walked into 
the altar, found his wife, jerked her from the mourn- 
ers' bench, and hurried her away. It was only a few 
moments after this malicious act when penitents began 
one after another to arise and tell to the people around 
what a dear Saviour they had found, and from that 
time till daylight the work went gloriously on. When 
a meeting makes the devil mad, you may be sure that 
something is doing. Early in the morning Gddby came 
into the preacher's tent; and when the inquiry was 
made, "What is the news from the battle?" he re- 
plied, "I counted forty conversions ; I know not how 
many more there were." 

As William Robeson afterwards returned to the 
Conference, he will be noticed further on. 

W. K. Cross continued after this in the local rela- 
tion. He was a citizen of Sullivan County, Tenn., a 
man who labored with his own hands and preached on 
Sundays. After the Civil War he became a candi- 
date for County Court Clerk in Sullivan County, Tenn. 
He was the candidate of the "rebel" element. A 
friend of his, a strong Southern man, approached a 
citizen of like political faith and asked him to vote for 
Cross. He replied : "I like his politics, but years ago 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. 183 

I vowed that I would never vote for a preacher for 
any civil office." "But," replied the friend, "Cross is 
not a preacher to hurt!" Mr. Cross himself used to 
delight in telling this anecdote. 

Washington Boring was a traveling preacher for 
only three years, but by his gifts and extraordinary 
piety and usefulness he entitled himself to historic 
mention. He was an elder brother of John Boring, 
who joined the Conference at the same time. -Wash- 
ington, like his brother, was a professor of entire sanc- 
tification, and his practice was up to his profession. 

His obituary notice, written by Thomas Stringfield, 
said : 

Brother Boring was emphatically 'a good man and a most 
successful preacher. He was alive to all that was excellent. 
He was by nature endowed with a strong and active mind, 
cultivated by his own energy. He was greatly beloved by 
those who were favored with his ministerial services. He 
carried the holy fire with him wherever he went, and his labors 
were signally owned and blessed of God. A short time before 
his spirit took its flight he said to his weeping family and 
friends : "I have examined the account minutely, and find that 
there is nothing wrong. I have handed it to my Master, and 
feel that it is all right. I have never felt such depths and 
such extended enjoyments in the Christian religion in all my 
life before." 

George Foster Pierce was born in Greene County, 
Ga., February n, 1811 ; and died at his home, in Spar- 
ta, Ga., in his seventy-third year, September 3, 1884, 
having served the Church as bishop for thirty years. 

He was a son of Dr. Lovick Pierce, one of the great- 
est men of American Methodism. He studied law 
and intended to pfactice the profession ; but under a 


powerful call to the work of the ministry he took li- 
cense to preach, and joined the Georgia Conference in 
1 83 1. He became President of Emory College, at Ox- 
ford, Ga., in 1848, in which position he remained till 
he was elected bishop, in 1854. He was prominent in 
the debates of the General Conference of 1844; was a 
member of the Louisville Convention of 1845, an d of 
the General Conferences of 1846, 1850, and 1854. Aft- 
er his death his sermons and addresses were collected 
and published in a volume by Dr. Haygood. 

Bishop Pierce was a great man and a great preach- 
er. Bishop Bascom has usually been regarded as the 
greatest orator of Southern Methodism, but I regard 
Bishop Pierce as his superior in that line. Both were 
diffuse- and grandiloquent in style; but Pierce's style 
was simpler, more natural, and more evangelical than 
that of Bascom, and his delivery was more extempo- 
raneous. Not wanting in logic and metaphysical acu- 
men, he was decidedly more of -an orator than a phi- 
losopher. His physical manhood was perfect, and he 
had a union of the best qualities of mind and heart. 
He was neither egotistic nor arrogant. In addition to 
all this, he was a man of faith and prayer. He was 
nowhere more at home than in a religious revival. 
When he came to the Conference at Cleveland, he was 
hoarse from a series of revival sermons. He preached 
on Tuesday night before the opening of the Confer- 
ence of 1871, held in Morristown, Tenn. He used the 
plain theme of secret prayer, and, calling penitents, a 
number came forward, and two were happily convert- 
ed. He also preached on Sunday morning and Mon- 
day night of this Conference. His 'Monday night ser- 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. 185 

mon on total depravity was one of amazing power, 
causing great alarm among the unconverted. The 
meeting which began at the Conference lasted thirty 
days, resulting in a great revival among the preachers 
of the Conference and in the community and some one 
hundred and twenty-five conversions of the most pow- 
erful type. 

Sometime in the fifties Bishop Pierce delivered the 
annual literary address at Emory and Henry College, 
in Virginia, his subject being "Learning and Reli- 
gion." He spoke without notes, and scholarly men — 
many of whom had been attracted to the place by the 
fame of the speaker, and who had been used to manu- 
script addresses on such occasions: — listened with as- 
tonishment at the flood of learning and gilded rhetoric 
which fell spontaneously from the lips of the speaker. 
One of them, who was sorry when he closed, said: 
"Why he talked as if he could have talked that way all 
day. The speech sounded as though its source were 

Bishop Pierce held the Conference in Abingdon in 
1879. A severe affection of the throat caused him to 
be very hoarse. When he arose to preach on Sunday 
of the Conference, it was feared that he had not voice 
enough to make himself distinctly heard. Indeed, his 
voice lacked its usual compass and sonorousness; but 
as he proceeded his throat cleared up, and, for one, I 
thought that the sermon that day was the greatest I 
had heard from his lips. 

I am fortunate in having preserved a sketch of that 
occasion from the pen of the Rev. Boyd W. Fielder. 
It is as follows : 


We went to the classic old town of Abingdon, Va., to be 
admitted on trial in the traveling ministry. Bishop Pierce 
presided. He was then in his sixty-ninth year and seriously 
affected with throat trouble. In presiding over the Confer- 
ence his voice failed about the third day, and Dr. Wiley sat 
by the Bishop on the platform and spoke for him to the 
Conference. The sessions were held in the old town hall, 
larger than any church building in town, and the weather was 
the superb Indian summer of late October. "Will the Bishop 
be able to speak to-morrow ?" was the general talk of the town 
and Conference on Saturday. 

Sunday, bright and crisp, came. The hall filled, crowded, 
overflowed, and throngs filed away to other places. A hush 
of anxiety and painful silence was seen on all faces at eleven 
o'clock, and at that moment, tall, erect, dignified, came the 
preacher of the hour down one of the aisles, picking his way 
through the crowd of chairs, and, with a look of pain and 
hope on his face, he went to the place of prayer behind the 
long table. 

When he had read four stanzas of the selection, every 
impediment of speech was gone, and as I think of that voice 
I think of an evening hour in the field' and a new bell ringing 
a mile from where I stand on a hilltop overlooking the town. 
I cannot recall the prayer, but I do carry to this hour the 
impression that it brought many souls in heart touch with 
the Divine. 

The text was based on the words of exhortation to Timothy 
to take heed unto himself and the doctrine, to meditate and 
continue in these things. The introduction was long, and it 


was some time before the massive structure of granite ap- 
peared above the ground. The rhetorical and classical finish 
of that discourse was equal to one of Doggett's best. There 
was the carefulness in the selection of a word of finest shade 
of meaning, sometimes seen in Wightman. The gestures 
were few, but carried the force of the thought like the break- 
ing forth of the sun after a rainy morning. One look into the 
speaker's eyes told of a volcanic fire in his soul, but under the 
command of a master. The audience was slowly transported 

CONFERENCES OF 1 854, 1855, 1 856, 1857. 1 87 

to a commanding height and riveted on not the speaker but 
his thought. The beginning of that sermon had the epigram- 
matic form of expression not unlike McTyeire. The finishing 
touches were more like the fire-baptized scenes in one of 
Marvin's happiest perorations. The man was the master of 
the hour, but could no longer control the emotions of the 
great throng of responsive humanity before him. Wave after 
wave of power swept the field, and there was a pentecostal 
scene before the deacons-elect were called forward for ordi- 
nation. That sermon is printed; but not that man, occasion, 
scene — these are in memory, but not in type. 

The Bishop turned his footsteps from the Conference, and 
in a few days buried his father. For nearly five years he 
lingered on these shores, but Holston Conference never heard 
and never saw him again. 

Bishop Candler says of him: 

In every element which entered into his most attractive 
personality and devoted life he was unusually endowed for 
the work of the Christian ministry. He was preeminently a 
preacher, altogether a preacher, from head to foot, by phys- 
ical, mental, and spiritual qualities — he was framed and fash- 
ioned for the pulpit. When in it, he adorned it with his 
impressive presence ; and when out of it, he suggested it by 
the sanctity of his life and the dignity of his bearing. 1 

Gen. Robert Toombs said of him : "He was the most 
symmetrical man I have ever known — the handsomest 
in person, the most gifted in intellect, the purest in 
life." Richard Malcolm Johnston wrote concerning 
him after his death: "He was the most beautiful of 
mankind without, and men of all parties believed that 
his external beauty was the best expression that phys- 
ical form and features could give of the more exquis- 
ite beauty within." The late Justice L. Q. C. Lamar 

1 Methodist Rcviczv, July, 1909. 


said of him: "Of all the great Georgians, I consider 
him the first." 

Railroads have played an important part in the mate- 
rial development of the Holston territory and in the 
progress of Christianity in this Switzerland of Ameri- 
ca. Hence I pause to mention the occasion of the arriv- 
al in the town of Knoxville of the first railroad train 
that ever came to that place. It was July 4, 1855. The 
old East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad Company had 
been working hard to construct its line from Cleveland. 
Two or three dates had been set for the arrival of the 
train in Knoxville, but various hindrances had caused 
delay; but the joyful day came at last. People came 
from Sevier, Blount, and other counties, and the hills 
for many miles down the road were lined with people. 
Summit Hill, in the suburbs, was covered with an eager 
multitude, and a mighty shout went up from the hu- 
man aggregations along the line of railway when the 
locomotive came in sight. The train was a small af- 
fair; the engine was a slim pattern, and spurted and 
spluttered as if it were going to blow up. But the 
sight and sound were a big affair to the people. Some 
of them were aghast, and would not go near the mon- 
ster. It is told of one man from the backwoods that, 
becoming frightened at the train, he ran through the 
town and hid in a blacksmith shop, and would not 
come out for a long time after he had been assured 
that he was in no danger. 

William G. Swann was the mayor of the town at 
that time, and the city carried out an appropriate pro- 
gram of celebration, and the civic and other organiza- 
tions of the place did their duty to the event. 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. 1 89 

The Conference met in its thirty-second session in 
Jonesboro, Tenn., November 14, 1855, Bishop Paine 
President, and William C. Graves Secretary. 

One of the most interesting features of this ses- 
sion was a visit of the Rev. A. R. Erwin, of the Ten- 
nessee Conference, who came to represent the inter- 
ests of the Publishing House at Nashville. He spoke 
in the missionary and other meetings of the Confer- 
ence, and made a profound impression by his eloquence. 
It was not mere word-painting or fluency. He over- 
whelmed his audiences by the splendor of his imagina- 
tion, the depth and originality of his thought, and the 
spiritual power that evidently prompted and accom- 
panied his delivery. 

# Dr. Edmund W. Sehon, Missionary Secretary, was 
present at this session and addressed the Conference. 
As a speaker he was fluent and emotional — a popular 
orator, without great powers of analysis. He had 
been a member of the Ohio Conference, but adhered 
South in the separation. He was a useful servant 
of the Church and a man whom the Southern Method- 
ists delighted to honor. 

At this Conference Judge Thomas A. R. Nelson en- 
tertained several of the preachers. He lived some two 
miles east of the town, and conveyed his guests back 
and forth in his carriage. They were elegantly enter- 
tained at his home. His conversations with the preach- 
ers were very entertaining and instructive. He was a 
man of great learning and intellect and a first-class 
lawyer. After the war he became one of the judges 
of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. Although he was 
a Union man during the war, he was very serviceable 


to the Southern element after the war in defending 
them and their property rights against invasion by the 
more vicious class of the Union people. I had occasion 
to learn something of his skill as a lawyer before the 
war. I was sued by an unprincipled man for damages 
for the alleged results of an unfortunate affray into 
which I had been drawn; and though I had a lawyer 
employed who was doing his best, it seemed certain 
that the suit would cost me something. A friend ad- 
vised me to employ Thomas A. R. Nelson. I asked 
him if he would take the case. He replied : "I will do 
so with great pleasure." He asked me to state the cir- 
cumstances of the case, and I did so. Said he": "Can 
you prove these things?" I replied in the affirmative 
and named the witnesses. "Now," said he, "go to your 
circuit and give yourself no uneasiness about this mat- 
ter." He went to the courthouse and entered an addi- 
tional plea, that of "accord and satisfaction;" and the 
adversary, seeing that he was about to fall into the pit 
which he had digged for the other man, made haste to 
withdraw the suit at his own cost, which was consid- 
erable, as he had maliciously summoned a considerable 
number of witnesses to heap up the cost. I learned by 
this case that the next thing to a just cause is a good 

Hugh Johnson located in 1828, but he attended this 
session of the Conference as a local preacher. Notice 
had been given that the preachers, as they came into 
Jonesboro, should report at the courthouse. This I did ; 
and as I walked to the door, I saw a man standing in 
the door who had to me a very familiar face. I ad- 
vanced, gave him my hand, and said : "How do you do, 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. I9I 

Brother Johnson?" He replied coolly, saying: "You 
have the advantage of me." I replied: "Isn't this 
Hugh Johnson?" He said: "Yes." "Hugh Johnson, 
of Henderson County, North Carolina?" I continued. 
He replied in the negative. I said : "You look exactly 
like him, and you certainly must be a brother of his." 
"No," said he, "and I know nothing of him." But for 
this denial I could have gone into a court of justice 
and honestly made oath that the man I spoke to was 
Hugh Johnson, of North Carolina. I simply mention 
this as one of the strange coincidences which we meet 
with occasionally. 

Admitted on trial : Alexander E. Woodward, George W, 
Smith, George W. Miles, William Wyatt, Jesse A. Hyden* 
John Cox, Rufus K. Scruggs, Charles T. McDonald, William 
H. Rogers, William H. Howell, Gaston M. Massey, Alexander 
F. English, George W. Penley, Andrew Copeland, Ebenezer 
Stockbridge, George Stewart, Henry P. Waugh, George 
Creamer, John W. Bird. 

Readmitted : William Robeson, John Reynolds, R. M. 

Located: Alexander F. Cox, Lemuel C. Waters, James 
Reed, Joseph R. Burchfield, Robert W. Pickens. 

Discontinued : J. B. McMahon, James M. Hall, Reuben 

Superannuated : Thomas Wilkerson, George Ekin, James 
Cumming, Jesse Cunnyngham, Robertson Gannaway, Wiley 
B. Winton, Conaro D. Smith, George W. Renfro, Ulrich 
Keener, William Hicks, James H. Green. 

Died : Obadiah B. Callaham, William H. Keene. 

Numbers in society: White, 39,636; colored, 4,006. Total, 
43,642. Decrease, 154. 

Local preachers, 370; traveling preachers, 126. 

Collected for superannuate and deficiency fund, $593-96; 


for missions, $3,575-35; for tracts, $1,293.63; for Sunday 
schools, $275.50; for American Bible Society, $1,875,31. 

Alexander F. Cox traveled in the Conference only 
a few years. He was not without talent and culture. 
His parents lived in Abingdon, Va. His sister, Miss 
Susan Tipton Cox, was a lifelong teacher, and exerted 
a fine Christian influence wherever she lived and la- 

I remember Lemuel C. Waters as a short, heavy man, 
who had brain and gifts as a preacher. 

Joseph R. Burchfield, a man of ordinary ability and 
limited culture, was quite a revivalist. 

Pickens returned to the Conference after this. 
. J. B. McMahon remained in the local ranks after his 
location. I knew him in Western North Carolina as a 
fine conversationalist and as a very interesting preach- 
er, considerably above mediocrity. 

O. B. Callaham was born in Smyth County, Va. He 
was admitted into the Conference in 1852. His career 
as a preacher was brief but creditable. His charges 
were Sneedville Circuit, Cumberland Mission, and 
Pikeville Circuit. On the last-mentioned charge he 
died from congestion of the brain at the house of Mr. 
Peter J. Swafford. His Conference memoir says: 
"Thus has passed away one of our most amiable and 
devoted young ministers. It may be said of him : He 
labored with us in love, and died in sweet hope of heav- 

In the fifties I met Judge Robert Henry Hynds, of 
Dandridge, Tenn. He was at that time a prominent 
Methodist. He died of sunstroke July 16, 1856, on his 
way home from holding a court at Blountville for 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. 193 

Judge David Patterson. His death occurred at the 
home of Robert Henderson, six miles east of Greene- 
ville. Judge Patterson afterwards owned the Hender- 
son place, and died in the same room in which Judge 
Hynds had died. 

Judge Hynds was married in Dandridge to Mary 
Jane Wilkes Moore July 4, 1826. She was a daughter 
of Dr. William and Cassie Paxton Moore. I have a 
statement from Alexander Hynds, Esq., saying that 
Dr. William Moore was a first cousin to Capt. James 
Moore, of Abbs Valley, and Mrs. Dr. Moore readily 
recalled the day and its events when Mary Moore and 
Martha Evans were restored to the family in Vir- 
ginia, as she was then living near by. 1 

Dr. Moore was an educated and skillful physician. 
Pie and his young bride came on horseback, in 1802, 
all the way from the Lexington section, in Virginia, to 
Dandridge, with a little negro behind each of them. 
She was second cousin to Patrick Henry and first cous- 
in. to Gen. Sam Houston, of Texas fame. 

Judge Hynds was a son of George Henry Hynds 
and Sallie Pritchett Jones, daughter of Gen. Branch O. 
Jones, of the Continental army. He graduated at Un- 
ion Seminary (where located I know not, but prob- 
ably somewhere in East Tennessee) in 1821. He was 
a law pupil under Joseph B. Reese, Esq., practiced 
law in a circuit extending from Greene County to Mc~ 
Minn County, and went to the bench in 1851. His fam- 
ily were stanch Presbyterians, and he married into that 
faith. Dr. Moore ana wife and Judge Hynds and wife 
eventually became Methodists. The cause of the 

J See Volume I., pp. 67-74. 


change was as follows* : At the marriage of the late Wil- 
liam Harris, of Dandridge, some little time before the 
death of Dr. Moore, which occurred in 1839, the two 
couples saw from a back porch and through the win- 
dow the company dancing in the dining room. They 
were cited before the session of the Church on the 
charge of attending a dance; and Mr. Hynds wrote a 
note saying that he could not attend owing to a court 
engagement at a distance, but explained the whole mat- 
ter for himself and wife and for Dr. Moore and wife. 
The explanation was not accepted, and they were cited 
again. Then Mr. Hinds wrote, saying that he had not 
attended a dance and that his former note was an an- 
swer to the charge, whereupon both couples were ex- 
cluded from the Church; and they at once joined the 
Methodist Church and became earnest, faithful, de- 
voted members thereof; and their fine old homestead, 
with all its ease and luxury, was a stopping place for 
any and all Methodist preachers and their friends. Mr. 
Hynds's son, William Moore Hynds, became class 
leader in Dandridge at the age of sixteen, and died in 

Judge Hynds's camp at the old Shady Grove Camp 
Ground, below Dandridge, held the preachers' room. 
In it Dr. Moore died of a congestive chill while repair- 
ing it for the camp meeting of 1839. Near by, at the 
home of her granddaughter, Mrs. Cassie Hynds Dun- 
can, Mrs. Dr. Moore, at the ripe age of ninety-one, died 
in 1875. Her last words were, a$ a smile from above 
fell on her careworn face : "Glory ! I see them." 

Judge Hynds was never too busy, either as a lawyer 
or as a judge, to attend divine service when it was pos- 

CONFERENCES OF 1 854, 1 85 5, 1 856, 1 857. 1 95 

sible. When away from home, he always made it a 
rule to attend divine service and to pray publicly if 
called on. When a member of the lower branch of 
the Legislature and later of the State Senate (1835-36) 
he attended church regularly, and about that time met 
the distinguished John Newland Maffitt. 

The Rev. James N. S. HufTaker was a law student 
in Judge Hynds's office, and went to the pulpit there- 
from. The late Dr. Robert A. Young said to Mr. Alex- 
ander Hynds in i£8i : "Your noble father was the best 
friend I ever had. His house was my home as a cir- 
cuit rider in my first year in the itinerancy. The in- 
fluence of his family was a power for good in the 
Church in East Tennessee." 

The very few veterans remaining this side of the 
Jordan live to speak of him as the upright Christian, 
the honest lawyer, and the incorruptible judge. 

Mr. Alexander Hynds writes me of his mother, 
Judge Hynds's second wife : 

My sainted mother was Ann Barbara Swan, daughter of 
John and Lucy (Curtis) Swan, born December 8, 1819, at 
Alderton, Northamptonshire, England. She came with the 
family to New York in 1834, where she attended school, and 
finally went to Mount Holyoke Seminary and placed herself 
under its noble Christian founder, Miss Mary Lyon, who 
wished her to go into Ohio and establish a branch of Mount 
Holyoke there. But the physicians said that she must come 
South, and she reached Dandridge in September, 1847, as a 
young lady teacher, where she spent the rest of her years 
laying the imprint of a godly Christian educator's life upon 
more than a thousand girls, for whom her last prayer was 
offered on February 2, 1892, a short time before she entered 
upon her eternal rest. She was married to Judge Hynds in 
Dandridge November 5, 1851, and no sweeter picture of do- 


mestic happiness have I ever known than was theirs. All her 
stepchildren through life were devoted to her; and after the 
breaking up of the family, she was just as loving and devoted 
to all of them. She was a devoted member of the Presbyterian 
Church from early girlhood, and honored it by a life of 
Christian usefulness. I may add that she was the first pupil 
educated at Mount Holyoke Seminary to come South as a 

Four sessions of the Annual Conference have been 
held in Jonesboro, Tenn. The last held there was in 
1855. At this point I shall introduce a sketch of a pio- 
neer layman who lived many years in this historic town 
and from that place ascended to God. 

Jacob F. Broyles was born on Horse Creek, in 
Greene County, Tenn., December 10, 1804 5 an( i died at 
his home, in Jonesboro, November 2, 1895, in the nine- 
ty-first year of his age. He was reared by pious Meth- 
odist parents. He joined the Methodist Church and 
was baptized by the Rev. James Axley at Stone Dam 
Camp Ground about the year 1820. He joined with 
about a hundred others. He was married to Lucinda 
Broyles December 13, 1847, D y tne Rev. Thomas Wil- 
liamson, a local preacher. His wife joined the Church 
about the year 1822, under the Rev. George Ekin. 
About the year 1832 he was appointed assistant class 
leader under Jonathan Waddell, who died a short time 
afterwards and left him in charge. This was at old 
Union Church, on the Greeneville Circuit. His assist- 
ant was Julius Broyles. 

In 1838 he removed within the bounds of Jonesboro 
Circuit and became class leader at Sevier's Church, hav- 
ing been appointed to that position by the Rev. R. W. 
Patty. He lived many years neighbor to the Rev. E. 

CONFERENCES OF I&54, 1S55, T ^5^ 1^57- 19? 

F. Sevier, whom he greatly admired. He was always 
ready to discharge any duty that his relation to the 
Church required of him. He was a delegate to several 
District Conferences, and often attended the sessions of 


the Annual Conference. On being asked by his son 
who was the best preacher he had ever heard, he re- 
plied: "Creed* Fulton." He then named the follow- 
ing as great preachers : E. F. Sevier, John Henninger, 


Thomas Stringfield, Samuel Patton, W. T. Senter, 
William P. Kendrick, E. E. Wiley, John Tevis, and R. 
M. Stevens. 

Mr. Broyles, as are all deeply pious men, was a 
great Bible reader, and he was particularly fond of 
the New Testament scriptures. In his religion he was 
not demonstrative, but he greatly enjoyed camp meet- 
ings and revival exercises. 

Such was his devotion to Methodist doctrines and 
usages that at the close of the Civil War, when the 
preachers of the Church, South, were not permitted 
to occupy the section where he lived, he attached him- 
self to the Methodist Episcopal Church temporarily ; 
but as soon as the Southern preachers returned to 
their flocks, he resumed his place in the Southern 
Methodist Church. 

He carried his religious convictions into his every- 
day life and into all his business transactions, keep- 
ing his contracts sacredly and never making a prom- 
ise without the hope of his being able to fulfill it. The 
only civil office he ever held was that of justice of 
the peace, which he held for eighteen years. He was a 
lover of sacred music, and delighted in the better class 
of the old hymns. He often sang them while about 
his farm work. He was especially fond of that cele- 
brated hymn of Charles Wesley, which, by the by, has 
been omitted from the latest collection — namely, "The 
Ecstasy of the Newborn Soul." 

Mr. Broyles had a pleasant recollection of the Rev. 
William P. Kendrick. He used to relate the follow- 
ing incident: At a camp meeting held at Ebenezer, in 
Greene County, Tenn., Mr. Kendrick was preaching 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, l %56, l &57- 1 99 

from the text, "Whosoever, therefore, shall be 
ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and 
sinful generation," etc. (Mark viii. 38) ; and during 
the delivery of this sermon, which was overwhelming, 
a man by the name of David Good, who was in the gal- 
lery, was powerfully convicted and imagined that he 
was going to die. In his attempt to get out of the 
house he got among the preachers and to 1 the mourn- 
ers' bench, was happily converted, and joined the 
Church. He was afterwards made a class leader, and 
discharged his obligations to the Church faithfully. 

Jacob Broyles remembered when Stone Dam Camp 
Ground was laid off and the first camps were erected. 
His father, John Broyles, assisted in the work and 
was one of the first tenters on the ground. In those 
days they were accustomed to appoint guards to keep 
order within and around the encampments. Jacob 
Broyles while young often served as a guard. Stone 
Dam in its early history was not illuminated with elec- 
tricity or with kerosene or with gasoline; but posts 
were set within the encampment, and boxes filled with 
earth were attached to them, and in them blazing pine 
knots furnished light by night to the throngs that vis- 
ited and occupied the grounds. 

Mr. Broyles used to relate some amusing incidents 
connected with the pioneer preachers. The Rev. 
George Ekin had an appointment at Union, on the 
Greeneville Circuit. On one occasion he was called 
on to baptize some one. He read some scripture suit- 
ed to the occasion, when a Baptist lady told him that 
he had read that scripture incorrectly. He replied that 
he had read it just as it was in the Bible, at the same 


time offering her the Book that she might "rade" it 
for herself. She replied that she could not read and 
requested him to hand the book to John Broyles (fa- 
ther of Jacob Broyles) that he might read it. Broyles 
replied : "Sister Gray, Brother Ekin read it right ; and 
if I read it, I will read it just as he has done." This 
raised the Irish in the preacher, and after some caus- 
tic remarks he proceeded with the ceremonies. 

The Rev. John Bowman was holding a two days' 
meeting at the church at Stone Dam. On Sunday 
morning he held a love feast. It was a rule of his 
Church. then for some person to stand at the door and 
admit to the love feast only such persons as were enti- 
tled to be present. On this occasion the preacher him- 
self was guarding the door. An old shouting Method- 
ist lady by the name of Wilcox presented herself at 
the door dressed in plain style except that she wore a 
small bow on her bonnet. Mr. Bowman espied the 
bow and informed her that she could not enter with 
that bow on her bonnet, whereupon she retired, re- 
moved the bow, returned, entered the Church, and en- 
joyed the love feast. 

The Rev. James Axley was holding a camp meet- 
ing at Stone Dam when a considerable number of 
people joined the Church on probation. It was a rule 
of the Church at that time to require that candidates 
for membership should be recommended by the class 
leader of the place or by some responsible member. 
Among those offering for membership was an old man 
who wore a long beard. He was a stranger, and no 
one was able to indorse for him. After a little dis- 
cussion over the case the elder exclaimed-: "Well, we 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. 201 

will take him, shave him up, and it may be we can 
make a good member of him." 

On my way to my first circuit, in the autumn of 
1850, I lodged with the excellent family of John W. 
Wilhoit, some five or six miles southeast of Greene- 
ville, Tenn. It was a preachers' home; there they 
were always welcome and always handsomely enter- 
tained. He was a most excellent man, a pillar of the 
Church in that community. His wife was his equal 
in every respect. Among his grandchildren are the 
Dosser brothers, who for years conducted successful 
mercantile establishments in Jonesboro, Bristol, Mor- 
ristown, and Knoxville. Their mercantile talent and 
education they derived from their father, Mr. James 
Dosser, of Jonesboro, a high-toned Christian gentle- 
man and a very shrewd and successful man of business. 

Mr. Wilhoit died in great peace in the summer of 
1856, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. 

Mention was made of Jonathan and Richard Bird 
in Volume I., pages 262-268, of this work. Richard 
Bird was born in Wilkes County, N. C, August 28, 
1769; and died in McDowell County, N. C, July 26, 
1856, in his eighty-seventh year. He was admitted 
into the traveling connection in 1792, and appointed 
to the Danville (Va.) Circuit. He located in 1796. 
He served as a traveling preacher in Virginia and 
Kentucky. After his location he settled on Catawba 
River, in McDowell County, N. C. In point of tal- 
ent he was above mediocrity. His sermons were 
short and his sentences beautiful and comprehensive. 
His manner was not controversial; he simply ex- 
pounded the doctrine of his text and then applied it. 


In speaking he seldom violated a rule of grammar or 
rhetoric. He was not a classical scholar, but used 
good English. His voice was rather weak but agree- 
able to the ear, being a ready vehicle of the thought 
and emotion of the speaker. On his deathbed he 
said: "My hope is in the Lord; I walk by faith, and 
not by sight." 

He left behind many relatives. His obituary notice, 
written in 1856, stated that his descendants then num- 
bered two hundred, a few of them being of the fourth 
generation. 1 

The Conference met in its thirty-third session in 
Knoxville October 22, 1856, Bishop Andrew Presi- 
dent, and William C. Graves Secretary. 

The Bishop was sixty-two years of age at this time, 
scarcely beyond the prime of life. In his younger 
days he was a man of great virility, and was at times 
a preacher of extraordinary power. But at this Con- 
ference he showed signs of age and failing strength 
of body and mind. It is said that he began to decline 
at the age of fifty. 

A communication was received from Mr. John M. 
Fleming inviting the preachers of the Conference to 
attend the East Tennessee Agricultural and Mechan- 
ical Fair, then open near the city. The invitation was 
accepted with thanks. I remember that the exhibits 
at the fair were, for that day, quite respectable. 

The Rev. Thomas Stringfield presented a communi- 
cation from the Board of Trustees of Strawberry 
Plains College asking for an agent to collect funds for 
the college, and stated that the property was worth 

1 Obituary notice by Rev. J. W. Williamson. 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, l &56> T 857- 20$ 

about $12,000, but was embarrassed with a debt of 
$3,000. The report stated that the President, Rich- 
ard L. Kirkpatrick, had resigned, and that his place 
had been filled by the election of the Rev. Thaddeus 
P. Thomas. This election was confirmed by vote of 
the Conference. 

A communication was received from Mr. Thomas 
L. Preston, President of the Board of Trustees of Em- 
ory and Henry College, stating that the institution had 
reached a high state of prosperity as to patronage, 
and that a few days after the opening the register 
showed a matriculation of two hundred students, the 
largest attendance in the history of the college up to 
that date. The dormitories were crowded, the dining 
room overflowed, and some young men had been com- 
pelled to leave for lack of accommodations. The re- 
port asked for an agent to raise funds for the build- 
ing of a new boarding house and additional dormito- 
ries. According to the report, the trustees had agreed 
to raise $5,000, and requested the Conference to raise 
a like sum. To this request the Conference cheerful- 
ly acceded, and George W. Alexander was appointed 
agent for the coming year. About this time the col- 
lege had reached its zenith. I remember hearing 
President Wiley, who was also Treasurer, say that 
one year the gross income of the institution was over 

A report of the Board of Trustees of Holston Con- 
ference Female College, signed by W. D. Rankin, 
Chairman, and R. B. Vance, Secretary, was present- 
ed to the Conference. It stated that since the last re- 
port the college had been eminently prosperous ; that 


during the term which ended in May last one hundred 
and seventy-seven students had entered; that teachers 
and pupils had enjoyed excellent health, the medical 
fees of the entire session not exceeding twenty-five 
dollars; that the patronage of the college demanded 
increased accommodations; that, accordingly, the citi- 
zens had contributed $1,500 for the erection of an ad- 
ditional building; that the addition had been about 
completed at a cost of $2,000 ; that the citizens had re- 
cently wiped out a debt against the institution of 
$1,000 and contributed $200 for the erection of a- 
kitchen ; and that it was the desire of the board that 
the Conference should take steps to raise funds for 
the liquidation of the debts incurred in these improve- 
ments, also for the erection of a large chapel and of a 
$5,000 addition to the boarding house. To comply 
with the request of the trustees Coleman Campbell 
was appointed agent of the college. What his suc- 
cess was I am unable to state. 

Dr. Jefferson Hamilton, Agent of the Tract Socie- 
ty of the Church, was introduced to the Conference. 
He was from the Alabama Conference and one of the 
foremost men of the connection. I have a distinct 
recollection of a sermon which he preached during the 
session. He was an asthmatic; and when he first be- 
gan, his voice was husky and he spoke with difficulty; 
but as he warmed up in the discussion, his voice 
cleared and he spoke with trumpet notes to a large 
and delighted audience. The text was, "Joy shall be 
in heaven over one sinner that repenteth," etc. The 
exposition was fine and the whole sermon one of great 
intellectual and spiritual power. 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. 205 

Dr. Leroy M. Lee, of the Virginia Conference, was 
introduced and addressed the Conference on the book 
and periodical interests of the Church. Dr. Lee was 
a great man. He ranked high as editor, author, and 
preacher. As editor he was trenchant; as author, 
learned and profound ; as preacher, clear and forcible. 

During the session Bishop Andrew preached a me- 
morial sermon of the four deceased members of the 
Conference — among the noblest men that ever be- 
longed to the Conference. 

Admitted on trial: B. W. S. Bishop, Josiah Torbett, Jacob 
T. Freeman, John B. Foster, Andrew Greer, Henry Rule, 
Rowan Clear, Lawrence M. Renfro, Leonidas C. Delashmit, 
George Emmitt, Abel R. Wilson, John R. Stradley, A. W. 
Cummings, Moses A. Spencer, William Elbert Munsey. 

Readmitted : John Alley. 

Located : J. H. Green, J. D. F- Jennings, J. M. Sharpe, 
Franl^ Richardson, George W. Renfro. 

Discontinued : John Cox. 

Superannuated : R. H. Guthrie, T. Sullins, James Dimming, 
R. Gannaway, J. W. Belt, W. B. Winton, C. D. Smith, J. M. 
Varnell, Thomas Stringfield. 

Died: Thomas Wilkerson, George Ekin, John M. Kelley, 
Ulrich Keener. 

Numbers in society: White, 41,351; colored, 4,365. Total, 
45,7 X 6. Increase, 2,074. 

Local preachers, 379; traveling preachers, 120. 

Collected for missions, $3,770.94; for Bible cause, $1,048; 
for tract cause, $750. 

Sketches of Wilkerson, Ekin, and Keener have al- 
ready been given. 

Richardson and Renfro returned to the Conference 
after this. 

John M. Kelley was born October 31, 1802; and 


died at his home, in Tazewell, Term., September 2, 
1856. He was licensed to preach September 27, 1827. 
He was admitted into the South Carolina Conference 
in 1828, and located in 1833. The first record we 
have of him after his location is his appointment in 
charge of Jonesboro Circuit, in the Holston Confer- 
ence, in 1835. When considerably advanced in life, he 
married Mrs. Sewell, widow of Benjamin Sewell and 
owner of a hotel property in Tazewell, Tenn. He 
was placed on the superannuate roll a few years be- 
fore he died, and superintended the business of the ho- 
tel. I became personally acquainted with him while 
I was in charge of Tazewell Station in 1853, and I 
doubt whether I ever met with a better man. He was 
a man of superior mental endowments and liberal 
education. He was a critical English scholar. He 
was impressive rather than sprightly as a preacher. 
He was uniformly cheerful and affectionate, never 
light or jocular. In his retired relation he never lost 
spirituality, and was always ready to preach or to give 
a private word of religious admonition. He was fre- 
quently in demand for addresses on literary occasions 
or temperance rallies ; and some of his addresses, if 
printed, would read well. Not satisfied with retire- 
ment, he applied for regular work and was appointed 
presiding elder of Rogersville District, a large and la- 
borious charge, in 1855. Early in the year he came 
to my charge in Rogersville, entered the pulpit as the 
congregation was assembling on Saturday morning, 
and sang a solo, a favorite hymn, with evidence of 
great emotion. Secular work was not congenial to 
him ; and when the old stager felt the pressure of the 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. 20J 

familiar* harness again, his joy could not be suppressed. 
He did not know it at the time, but he was getting 
ready for his ascent, which was in the near future. 
How lovingly did he preside in the Quarterly Con- 
ference ! How earnest was his message in the sacred 
stand! "How sweet was his social intercourse with 
the brethren in their homes ! 

When he was on his deathbed, a friend said to him : 
"Brother Kelley, I suppose that all is well with you 
religiously?" "Yes," said he; "I have tried to serve 
God for many years. I have served him from princi- 
ple, and now I feel that all is well." He was asked 
if he enjoyed a permanent peace within. His an- 
swer was : "O, yes ! Peace ! joy ! joy ! If I could only 
express it! Glory! glory!" Again it was asked: "If. 
you had your life to live over, would you be a Meth- 
odist traveling preacher?" His response was: "I 
would rather be a poor, humble Methodist traveling 
preacher than to be President of the United States." 
To William C. Daily he said: "Tell my brethren of 
the Conference that I died at my post." In the hour 
of breathing his last he took an affectionate adieu of 
the members of his family, leaving a dying blessing 
upon each. 

The Conference met in its thirty-fourth session in 
Marion, Va., October 22, 1857, Bishop John Early 
President, and W. C. Graves Secretary. 

I note the fact that the Rev. J. S. Kennedy, of the 
Virginia Conference, was introduced to the Confer- 
ence, as he afterwards became a member of the Hol- 
ston Conference and was a conspicuous actor in Hol- 
ston Methodism. 




CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. 209 

The Conference elected as -delegates to the ensuing 
General Conference, to meet in Nashville, Tenn., the 
following men: E. F. Sevier, William Hicks, T. K. 
Munsey, E. E. Wiley, James Atkins, R. M. Stevens, 
and William Robeson. Reserves: William C. Graves 
and William C. Daily. 

The Bishop submitted to the Conference for concur- 
rence or rejection a resolution adopted by the Ala- 
bama Conference proposing to strike out from the 
General Rules the rule on slavery. This rule, as the 
reader may know, prohibited the buying or selling of 
men, worsen, and children with the intention of enslav- 
ing them. It was evidently leveled against the Afri- 
can slave -trade and not directly against the holding of 
slaves or the transfer of slave property. The speak- 
ers in the Conference who advocated the resolution 
took the ground that, as under the laws of the United 
States the slave trade was piracy and prohibited as 
such under heavy penalties, the rule was a dead letter ; 
but that, being sometimes construed as a condemna- 
tion of slaveholding, it operated to the prejudice of 
our preachers among slaveholders and hindered their 
free access to' masters and servants, and therefore 
should be stricken out. The vote on the resolution 
stood 78 for and 4 against. One of the negative voters 
was William Robeson ; I do not remember who the 
others were. I remember that after this William G. 
Browniow, editor of the Knoxville Whig, criticized 
Robeson for his vote, classing him with abolitionists. 
Robeson replied with some spirit, and got, as I thought, 
the better of the fight. Browniow was not a member 



of the Conference, but, being present, he took an active 
part in bringing about the vote to strike out. 

I remember that at this Conference the sessions 
were preceded by a prayer meeting led by the Bishop, 
and the emotional life which he threw into the services 
was wonderful. 

Among the papers of the Conference I find the third 
annual exhibit of the Publishing House at Nashville 
by Stevenson & Owen, Agents, showing that the 
Church had sustained a considerable loss by the de- 
pository at Richmond; that the Southern Methodist 
Quarterly Review had utterly failed to meet expenses ; 
that its deficit for the current year was little short of 
three thousand dollars ; that the Home Circle had a cir- 
culation of 6,500 copies, but was not paying expenses ; 
that the Sunday School Visitor, with a circulation of 
19,000, was a tax on the resources of the Church ; that 
the Richmond Christian Advocate had failed to meet 
expenses, but that the Charleston paper had turned 
over to the Church as net profits several thousand dol- 

The Agent of the Emory and Henry College report- 
ed that during the year he had raised for the college 
only $1,482.50 in solvent notes. 

The Committee on Education reported that Thad- 
deus P. Thomas had resigned the presidency of Straw- 
berry Plains College, and that the trustees had elected 
to fill the place the Rev. James S. Kennedy, of the Vir- 
ginia Conference ; and the Bishop was requested to 
transfer him to the Holston Conference. 

At this session the trustees of the Athens Female 
College tendered that property to the Conference. 









They had bought the property from the McMinn 
Lodge of Odd Fellows for thirty-five hundred dollars. 
The property consisted of two acres of ground adjoin- 
ing the town of Athens, Tenn., and a three-story brick 
building, 60x40 feet, not completed. To pay for the 
property the trustees had in hand an available sub- 
scription of money amounting to more than the cost 
of the property. They did not ask the Conference to 
assume any pecuniary liability, but requested the ap- 
pointment of a President and Agent to raise two thou- 
sand dollars for the completion of the building. They 
furthermore expressed a purpose to purchase two ad- 
ditional acres of land on which to erect a boarding 
house. This tender was made through the Rev. Sew- 
ell Philips, and was accepted by the Conference, al- 
though the minutes show no appointment of either a 
President or an Agent. 

The Conference entered upon another important en- 
terprise at this session. The Odd Fellows Lodge at 
Abingdon, Va., had begun the erection of a large 
brick building in the suburbs of the town for a female 
school to be entitled Martha Washington College. In 
its unfinished state it was offered to the Conference 
with a debt upon it. The Conference accepted the of- 
fer and appointed as Agent the Rev. W. P. Bishop, a 
local preacher, to raise funds to pay the debt and com- 
plete the building. The building, however, wi:s never 
completed. Two years later the Hon. Thomas L. Pres- 
ton tendered to the Conference the old Francis Pres- 
ton property, in Abingdon, at a nominal price, for 
school purposes; the Odd Fellows property was dis- 
posed of and the Preston property accepted as the site 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, l &56> 1&57- 2I3 

of the college. Thus was founded a school that has 
been famous in the annals of education. 

The Committee on Education gave a favorable re- 
port of Holston Conference Female College. In spite 
of the scholarship plan, which almost gave away edu- 
cation in the purely literary branches, and the failure 
of the agency appointed at the last session, the trustees 
were making a large addition to the boarding house, 
and the school was more than paying expenses. 

Admitted on trial : George Callahan, John W. Mann, Wil- 
liam Kinsland, William H. Cooper, William P. Queen, Thomas 
F. Glenn, Moses Seaton, John F- Woodfin, Samuel D. Gaines, 
John Malair. 

Readmitted: Joseph R. Burchfield, George W. Renfro, An- 
drew C. Hunter. 

Located: J. T. Stanbury, William Ballinger, Joshua B. 
Little, John D. Baldwin, R. N. Price, Gaston M. Massey, 
Sewell Philips. • 

Discontinued : Henry Rule, George Emmitt, Jacob Freeman, 
Rowan Clear, Ebenezer Stockbridge, William Wyatt, G. W. 

Superannuated : L. C. Waters, R. W. Patty, Thomas String- 
field, James dimming, R. Gannaway, C. D. Smith, T. Sullins, 
S. B. Harwell, W. B. Winton, W. H. Rogers. 

Transferred to the St. Louis Conference : R. M. Whaley. 

Died : Jesse Cunnyngham, John M. Varnell. 

Numbers in society: White, 43,087; colored, 4,220. Total, 
47,307. Increase, 1,591. 

Local preachers, 388 ; traveling preachers, 134. 

Collected for missions, $3,614.95; for Bible cause, $685.83; 
for tracts, $159.88. 

This was Bishop Early's first episcopal visit to the 
Holston Conference. He had all the sessions of the 
Conference preceded by a prayer meeting, in which 
he exhorted with great earnestness and effect. In the 


chair he was positive and pragmatical. He exceeded 
his prerogative as a presiding officer and exerted an 
intentional influence in shaping the business of the 
session. He was, however, not so dictatorial as he 
subsequently became. 

I tell the following joke at the expense of a lawyer 
of the Marion community. It had been the custom of 
the superintendent of the Sunday school of the Meth- 
odist Church of the place to hang up a card printed 
with large letters near .the pulpit with the inscriptions 
'"I am early" on one side and "I am late" on the oth- 
er to assist in securing punctuality in the attendance of 
pupils. As it happened the card was immediately be- 
hind the seat occupied by the Bishop, and the words 
"I am early" were turned outward. One morning this 
lawyer came into the Conference room, and was great- 
ly disgusted at what he believed to be the Bishop's 
card, and remarked afterwards that such a notice was 
evidence of his supreme egotism and despotic charac- 
ter! I heard the remark, and. would have corrected 
the mistake, but I did not wish to witness the mortifi- 
cation that such a correction would have occasioned 
my friend. 

John Early, D.D., was born in Bedford County, Va., 
January I, 1786; and died in Lynchburg, Va., Novem- 
ber 5, 1873. His parents were Baptists, but he joined 
the Methodist Church. He was licensed to preach in 
1806 and admitted on trial into the Virginia Confer- 
ence in 1807. He was early promoted to the presid- 
ing eldership. Simpson's "Cyclopedia of Methodism" 
says : "He was eminently successful in leading sinners 
to the Saviour, on one circuit receiving into the Church 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, ' 1855, 1856, 1857. 215 

five hundred members ; and it is said that at one camp 
meeting conducted by him one thousand persons were 
converted. He was deeply interested in the mission- 
ary cause, and everywhere awakened missionary zeal. 
He was one of the most zealous and active workers in 
the establishment of Randolph-Macon College, and 
was for many years President of its Board of Trus- 
tees." He was a member of every General Confer- 
ence from 181 2 to 1828, inclusive. He was elected 
Book Agent of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
in 1846. In 1854 he was elected bishop, and in 1866 
was given the superannuate relation. 1 

Bishop Early was a remarkable — yea, a wonderful — 
man. As a homilist he did not rank high, but in preach- 
ing and exhortation he had a wonderful fluency and 
earnestness. He was the best pathetic anecdoter I 
ever heard. He had an almost limitless control over 
the emotions of his audiences. In the days when 
shouting was fashionable in the Methodist churches, if 
quiet and silence were desired, it was unsafe to put 
John Early in the pulpit. Yet in his latter days he 
opposed shouting. After a sermon of his during a ses- 
sion of the Conference in Wytheville a pious Method- 
ist lady had been so wrought up by his eloquence that 
she could not refrain from loud acclamations of praise 
to God. The Bishop walked down the aisle and gen- 
tly rebuked the sister, saying : "Sister, order becometh 
the house of the Lord." After dismission the sister, 
mortified by the rebuke, meekly remarked to a friend : 
"The Bishop is a queer man. He preaches powerfully 

1 Simpson's "Cyclopedia of Methodism," p. 320. 


and prays powerfully for the Holy Ghost; and when 
he comes, he won't have him !" 

After the Marion Conference the Bishop presided 
in the Holston Conference five times. At the Confer- 
ence of 1859, held in Abingdon, he gave offense to 
some of the preachers by what they regarded as un- 
kind criticisms, and they lodged complaints against 
him at the next General Conference. His greatest 
mistakes were his rulings during the Civil War at Ath- 
ens, Wytheville, and Bristol. Under these rulings Un- 
ion preachers were expelled from the Church for of- 
fenses purely political'and without due form of trial. 
The Bishop's great intensity made him narrow, and 
he could not regard sympathy with the invasion of the 
South by the hordes of Northern soldiers as anything 
less than a crime against God and humanity. All this 
did not argue that he was bad, but that the intense 
emotionality which made him such a stirring preacher 
unfitted him for that coolness and calmness of delib- 
eration which the presidency of Holston Conference 
demanded in that crisis. 

Joshua B. Little was a large, fat, good-natured man 
of fair intellect. When the war came up, he took the 
Union side ; and when the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in East Tennessee- was reorganized, in 1874, he affiliated 
with that branch of Methodism. 

John D. Baldwin located on a farm in Hancock 
County, Tenn., and led a quiet, peaceable life till called 
up higher. 

R. N. Price located to attend to some lawsuits in 
which his father had become involved. He went to 
Bishop Early and said: "Bishop, my father has be- 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, ^5^, I &57- 21? 

come involved in some lawsuits, and it will be neces- 
sary for me to take about two months at the begin- 
ning of the year in attending to his buisness. I do 
not wish to locate ; I come to you to request you to give 
me a charge somewhere in Southwestern Virginia. I 
will see that the appointments are filled when I shall 
necessarily be absent from the work." He turned his 
back to him and replied: "I have no jurisdiction in the 
matter." Next day Price asked for and obtained a lo- 
cation. When the Bishop observed that he had located, 
he said to one of the preachers : "Why did Price locate ? 
That was not necessary." 

As it happened, A. M. Goodykoontz, who had been 
appointed to Abingdon Circuit, died just as he was 
entering upon his work; and after Price had attend- 
ed to his father's business, he was requested by the pre- 
siding elder, F. M. Fanning, to take charge of the cir- 
cuit, which he did. This was the circuit within which 
his father lived, and the one which he would have 
chosen at the Conference if he had had a choice. He 
returned at the end of the year to the Conference and 
accepted the professorship of mathematics and an- 
cient languages in Holston Conference Female College. 

Sewell Philips afterwards returned to the Confer- 

A sketch of Jesse Cunnyngham was given in Vol- 
ume II. 

John M. Varnell was a portly man of respectable 
culture and preaching talent. In his last days he was a 
victim of dyspepsia, and found it necessary to diet 
himself almost to starvation. At the Conference held 
in Asheville, N. C, in 1852, he was a guest of Mrs. 


M. M. Vance, and he slept in the same room with Zeb 
Vance, who was then a big boy. Vance used to re- 
late that one night Varnell sat up in the bed, and, as 
if at the dining table, solemnly and deliberately asked 
the blessing : "Lord make us thankful for what we are 
about to receive." 

' I can give you only a brief mention of Marion and 
Smyth County. The county was set off from Wash- 
ington and Wythe Counties in 1832, and was named 
for Gen. Alexander Smyth, a noted lawyer. The town 
of Marion was established in the same year. The first 
church in the town was a Presbyterian church, and 
was erected in 1847 or l &4& The first Methodist 
church of the place was built about 1850; and the pres- 
ent church, which is a handsome brick building, was 
erected about the year 1892. The area of Smyth Coun- 
ty is 315,425 acres, with a population of near 25,000. 
The census of 1890 showed a white population of 17,- 
063 and a colored population of 1,170. The same 
census showed a foreign population of only 60. The 
county is drained by the three forks of Holston Riv- 
er. It is mountainous and hilly, with intervening val- 
leys of great fertility, the hills and mountains them- 
selves being very fertile and productive. It is in the 
center of the blue grass section of the State, and is a 
fine stock-raising region. 

The county furnishes unequaled water power; and 
the manufacturing interests of the county are consid- 
erable and growing, the chief of which is the plant of 
the Mathieson Alkali Works, at Saltville, at which salt, 
alkali, and caustic soda are manufactured in large 

CONFERENCES OF 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857. 2IO, 

The minerals of the county are lead, zinc, iron, fire 
clay, gypsum, marble, limestone, salt, barytes, and man- 
ganese. The lumber business is carried on on a large 
scale. The people are honest, hospitable, and progres- 
sive. The religion of the county is of a high type, or- 
thodox, sincere, and of great emotional power. There 
are about seventy public school buildings in the county, 
including two fine high school buildings — one at Ma- 
rion and the other at Saltville. 

The Southwestern State Hospital for the Insane is at 
Marion, and consists of a number of excellent build- 
ings, in which a great number of patients are cared for. 

The dust of Gen. William Campbell and his wife, 
Madam Russell, reposes at Seven-Mile Ford, in the 

Conferences of 1858 and 1859. 

The Conference met in its thirty-fifth session in 
Chattanooga, Tenn., October 16, 1858, Bishop Andrew 
President, and James N. S. Huffaker Secretary. 

Erastus Rowley was readmitted at this session, and 
by request of the Conference appointed President of 
Athens Female College. 

John H. Brunner was reappointed to the presidency 
of Hiwassee College. Dr. A. W. Cummings was re- 
appointed to the presidency of Holston Conference Fe- 
male College. J. S. Kennedy was appointed to the 
presidency of Strawberry Plains College, and the ac- 
tion of the committee appointed at the last Conference 
accepting from the Odd Fellows the property of Mar- 
tha Washington College was approved. 

At this session a committee was appointed to take 
into consideration the propriety of establishing a Con- 
ference depository of books and a Conference organ. 
The committee reported in favor of a depository, but 
against a Conference organ. The report, so far as it 
had reference to a depository, was negatived ; but so far 
as it had reference to a Conference organ it was adopt- 
ed, and a resolution expressing confidence in the 
Nashville Christian Advocate was also adopted. • Dr. 
John B. McFerrin, General Book Agent, was present, 
and his presence and influence must have had some- 
thing to do with the vote on the question of a Confer- 
ence organ. He was always opposed to the multipli- 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 221 

cation of Conference organs. He believed in centrali- 
zation. He took the ground that a few good papers 
would be more useful to the Church than a 'number 
of inferior sheets not well sustained. 

At this session the Conference adopted an elaborate 
financial plan, which is as follows: 

1. There shall be a Financial Committee constituted annually 
as follows : There shall be one lay steward from every district 
within the Conference, elected by the district stewards either 
from their own number or from among the other stewards of 
the district, and one from among the preachers of the Con- 
ference for each district. All the financial interests of the 
Conference shall be referred to this committee; provided, al- 
ways, that the failure of the lay stewards, any or all of them, 
to attend the sessions of the Conference shall in nowise 
hinder or invalidate the regular proceedings of that portion 
of the Financial Committee elected from the Conference. 

2. The expenses incurred by the stewards in attending the 
sessions of the Annual Conference shall be determined by the 
Board of District Stewards and paid by their respective dis- 

3. There shall be elected annually by the fourth Quarterly 
Conference of each circuit, in addition to the legal number of 
seven stewards already provided, for by the Discipline, a rep- 
resentative from each society on said circuit not represented 
by one of the stewards. 

4. There shall be a meeting in every district of one steward 
from each station and circuit, whose duty it shall be to take 
into consideration the temporalities of the district, to estimate 
the presiding elder's entire claim, including quarterage, travel- 
ing, and family expenses, and to apportion his entire claim 
thus ascertained among the several stations and circuits of his 
district according to their relative ability to pay. 

5- It shall be the duty of the class representatives to attend 
the first financial meeting held by the preacher in charge of 
the several circuits and stations, as also the quarterly meetings, 
and cooperate with the stewards in estimating the entire 


claim or claims of the preacher or preachers of said circuit or 
station, including quarterage, family and traveling expenses, 
etc. ; and, when so determined, to apportion their entire claims, 
including that of the presiding elder, against the circuit or 
station among the several appointments or societies of their 
respective charges, it being left to the discretion of those 
brethren who have families to make on their own fields of 
labor such arrangements as they and their stewards may deem 
most judicious in raising their family supplies, etc., whether 
it be in money or in such produce as may be needed and is 
equivalent to so much money in value. 

6. When the first financial meeting of the circuits has been 
convened and the stewards and class representatives have as- 
certained the entire claim against a station or circuit and ap- 
portioned it to the several classes or societies, then it shall be 
the duty of the preacher in charge to have a committee con- 
sisting of three or five, or more, appointed by election or 
otherwise in each class or society, including among the num- 
ber the steward or representative of a class or society, whose 
duty it shall be, at the earliest opportunity, to divide or dis- 
tribute the amounts apportioned to the several classes among 
all the individual members of said classes per head, according 
to the ability of each one to pay, thus providing for the entire 
claim of all the preachers and diffusing the burden of minis- 
terial support over all the Church. 

7. In order to meet the claims of the superannuates and 
other claimants, the preachers in charge of the several circuits 
and stations shall be required to raise a collection in each 
society. The stewards of the Conference shall apportion the 
amount necessary to meet the claims of the bishops among the 
several districts, and the presiding elders shall collect the 
same; and in case any preacher fails to do his duty as re- 
quired above, he shall be required to pay five per cent on the 
amount he has received as his salary. 

8. It shall be the duty of the Conference Financial Com- 
mittee, constituted as heretofore provided, to receive the finan- 
cial reports of all the preachers in charge of districts, circuits, 
stations, and missions to be furnished agreeably to the require- 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 223 

ments of the Discipline ; and also at each Conference carefully 
to inquire into the pecuniary condition and resources of all 
those for whose benefit the collection is taken, lest improper 
claimants be retained on the list of this class of beneficiaries. 

9. The lay Conference stewards shall have the privilege of 
voting and participating in any and all discussions arising 
either in the committee meetings or in the Conference in 
reference to the financial interests of the Conference and 

10. It shall be the duty of each steward and class represent- 
ative to present at the fourth Quarterly Conference of each 
circuit or station an accurate list of all the names on their 
several class rolls, with the amount assessed to each member 
and the amount paid. 

11. It shall be the duty of each presiding elder to see to it 
that each preacher in charge on the several circuits and sta- 
tions of his district shall put into operation the plan herein- 
before set forth, and that all the preachers in charge be required 
scrupulously to carry out this financial policy on all their 
charges and among all their classes. 

12. It is earnestly recommendsd that all the preachers unit- 
edly cooperate throughout the bounds of our Conference in 
carrying out uniformly and rigidly the plan herein presented. 

By request of the Conference the bishop reappoint- 
ed James Atkins to the agency of the American Bi- 
ble Society. 

Mrs. Hart, formerly of Monroe County, Tenn., hav- 
ing in her will bequeathed to the Church property sup- 
posed to be worth $2,000, more or less, John H. Brun- 
tier and J. G. Peace were authorized to take steps to 
secure the property to the Church and to apply the 
proceeds to the erection of a parsonage in the town of 

It is known that Thomas Stringfield always favored 
the establishment of theological schools, and it was 


largely through his influence that a memorial came 
from Strawberry Plains College memorializing the 
Conference to establish a theological institute, where- 
upon the following resolutions were adopted: 

i. Resolved, That we consider the subject one of great 
interest and worthy of the serious and deliberate consider- 
ation of the whole ministry of our Church. 

2. Resolved, That we deem it inexpedient to enter upon an 
enterprise of that magnitude at present. 

Compare the first resolution above with the resolu- 
tion on the same subject introduced in the Conference 
of 1845 by David Adams, himself a Strawberry Plains 
man, saying: "We disapprove and will oppose any 
measure tending to or savoring of the establishment 
of a theological institute or seminary." 

The report on temperance adopted at this session 
said: "That the Conference deeply deplores the ex- 
tensively intemperate conditions of the country, and 
regards the use of ardent spirits as a beverage as a 
capital offense against the laws of God." 

The General Conference having by the constitutional 
majority voted to expunge from the Discipline the rule 
on slavery, the Conference concurred by a vote of 
68 to 3. 

On the passage of the character of William G. E. 
Cunnyngham the following resolution was adopted : 

Resolved, That G. W. Alexander be requested by the Con- 
ference to write a letter to our beloved Brother William G. 
E. Cunnyngham, missionary to China, expressing our kind 
remembrances and affection for him and of our Christian 
sympathy for him in his distant and arduous field of labor. 

Dr. E. E. Wiley was by vote requested to preach the 
Conference sermon at the next annual session. 

CONFERENCES OF 1 858 AND 1 859. 22$ 

Admitted on trial : John D. Wagg, A. W. Aston, James K. 
Stringfield, Robert N. Strong, W. H. Moody, Absalom D. 
Stewart, William C. Bowman, Charles T. McDonald, John H. 
Keith, John W. Dodson, Erastus Rowley, John W. Bowman, 
John M. Proffitt. 

Readmitted: Creed Fulton, R. N. Price, John D. Baldwin, 
Gaston M. Massey. 

Received by transfer : W. B. Bailey. 

Located: T. M. Dula, Creed Fulton, W. B. Bailey, D. P. 
Hunt, Mitchell P. Swaim, R. K. Coin. 

Transferred to St. Louis Conference: Elijah Connor. 

Superannuated : John Alley, D. B. Carter, R. A. Giddens, A. 
Gass, S. B. Harwell, R. Gannaway, James Cumming, C. D. 
Smith, R. W. Patty, R. H. Guthrie, T. Sullins, W. P. Winton, 
W. H. Rogers. 

Died: Thomas Stringfield, Alfred M. Goodykoontz, Charles 

Numbers in society: White, 45,083; colored, 4,385; Indian, 
200. Total, 49,668. Increase, 2,361. 

Local preachers, 402; traveling preachers, 108. 

Collected for superannuates, etc., $480; for missions, $2,- 

Hamilton County was established by act of the Leg- 
islature of 1819, and it comprised the territory lying 
southwest of Rhea and southeast of Bledsoe and Ma- 
rion Counties. The county was named in honor of 
Alexander Hamilton, who was killed in 1S04 in a pis- 
tol duel with Aaron Burr. The first courthouse was 
the house of Hasten Poe, at the foot of Walden's 
Rid£2, on the. Poe Turnpike. The building still stands, 
and is yet in a fairly good state of preservation. From 
the Poe house the courts were moved to the farm of 
Ahasel Rawlings, where a little town called Dallas 
sprang up. The county seat remained in Dallas un- 
til 1840, when it was moved to Vann Town, an In- 



dian village on the Tennessee River, about twelve 
miles northeast of Chattanooga. Vann Town was aft- 
erwards named Harrison, and the county seat was 
removed from that place to Chattanooga in 1870. 

Chattanooga's first name was given to the locality 
by the Indians. We would spell and pronounce it, ac- 
centing the first and last syllables, "Ah-clan-a-wah," 
meaning "The Home of the Hawks." Its next name 
was Ross's Landing, named for John Ross, a chief of 
the tribe of Cherokee Indians. In 1839 the town was 
chartered under the name "Chattanooga," the Indian 
name of a creek near by. The sheriff of Hamilton 
County held an election for seven aldermen, and the 
seven thus elected selected from their number the first 
mayor of the town. 

In 1834 extreme Lower East Tennessee and ex- 
treme North Georgia were Indian missionary ground, 
known to Methodism as the Washington District and 
Cherokee Mission. At the Annual Conference of 1834 
John Henninger, presiding in the absence of a bishop, 
appointed Thomas Stringfield to the district and Da- 
vid B. Cumming, D. T. Fulton, and David Ring to the 

In a sketch of Methodism in North Georgia and 
Lower East Tennessee, given in a pamphlet by the 
Rev. Levi Brotherton, there is the following interest- 
ing story of D. T. Fulton: On one occasion Brother 
Fulton got lost in the Conosauga Mountains, a part 
of the Cohuttah Range. Night overtook him far away 
from any human habitation, while he was surrounded 
by the fierce denizens of the forest. It was too dark 
for him to see anything, but he was soon convinced 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 22J 

that he was being pursued by a hungry panther. The 
screaming of the beast came nearer and nearer. Fear- 
ing to move in the dark lest he might be precipitated 
down a precipice, he resolved to remain where he was. 
While he waited he prayed. The brute came near, 
and he could hear the movement of its tail as it sat 
on the ground ready to spring upon its prey. But He 
that shut the mouths of the lions in the lions' den was 
with his faithful servant, and no harm came to him. 
When daylight came, the panther was standing some 
twenty feet away with his forefeet on a log, looking 
quietly at the preacher. 

The territory now occupied by the city of Chatta- 
nooga was included in this Cherokee Mission. In 1835 
the district was named Newtown District, and it was 
so named up to 1839. D. B. Cumming was then pre- 
siding elder, and was reappointed in 1836 and 1837. 
The preacher appointed to Chattanooga Mission in 
1835 was Christopher Stump. In 1836 Chattanooga 
Mission became Chattanooga Circuit, with William 
Hurd Rogers in charge. In 1837 the name of the 
charge was changed to Lafayette Circuit, and it bore 
this name till 1843. The preachers in 1837 were Dan- 
iel Payne and C. D. Smith. In 1838 Alexander N. 
Harris was appointed to it; and in' 1839 two, William 
Hicks and D. White, were placed in charge of it. The 
presiding elder for the four years, 1838-41, was Josiah 
B. Daughtry. The preachers in 1840 were Russell 
Reneau and T. Witten, and in 1841 T. W. Reneau and 
Michael Southard. In 1842 Thomas Stringfield was 
again appointed presiding elder, and William H. Hick- 
ey was preacher in charge." In 1842 the name of the 


circuit was changed from Lafayette to Chattanooga ; 
and Thomas K. Munsey was the preacher in charge, 
while Timothy Sullins was the presiding elder of the 
district. In 1844 the district lines were changed, and 
Chattanooga Circuit became a part of the Athens Dis- 
trict and remained in it a number of years. 

In 1835-37 ^e government was conducting the re- 
moval of the Indians from Lower East Tennessee and 
North Georgia to reservations west of the Mississippi. 
Ross's Landing at that time was not even a village. 
Not more than three or four families lived there. A 
few years later it was enlarged to the proportions of a 
little town, and among its inhabitants were ten Meth- 
odists : Mrs. Crisia Baldwin, Mrs. Sallie Bush, W. A. 
Caldwell, Mrs. Cynthia Cowart, Alpheus L. Edwards, 
Mrs. Rose Faidley, J. P. McMillan, W. G. Molleston, 
and James Warner and wife. Descendants of most of 
these now reside in Chattanooga. 

For some years the only church house in Ross's 
Landing was owned by the Presbyterians, and all 
Christian denominations worshiped in it. This build- 
ing stood near the spot now (1910) known as Twinam 
Home Place, on Walnut Street. About the year 1839 
the Methodist people organized a society of ten mem- 
bers, whose names are given above, and later erected 
the first Methodist church building at Ross's Landing. 
The building was erected in a forest. The spot was 
near what is now the intersection of Lookout and East 
Fifth Streets. The building was 16 x 18 or 20 feet, 
made of logs, and was chinked and daubed. The seats 
were slabs without backs, the floor was the bottom 
of an abandoned flatboat taken from the river, and the 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 22£ 

roof was covered with clapboards. There was at the 
north end of the building a stick-and-mud chimney, 
which rose a little above the height of the roof. In this 
chimney a spice mortar was suspended, and the hour of 
public service was announced by striking the mortar 
with the pestle. 

The inhabitants lived in log houses, carried on their 
business in log houses, and merchants hauled their 
goods in wagons all the way from Baltimore, Md. 

On December 20, 1839, Ross's Landing was char- 
tered as a municipality and named Chattanooga, after 
Chattanooga Creek, a little, lazy, dirty stream that 
flows into the Tennessee River near the base of Look- 
out Mountain. 

The Methodists worshiped in their little log meet- 
inghouse up to 1847. At this time the trustees were 
Alpheus L. Edwards, James Warner, William G. Mol- 
leston, Elijah Thurmon, George D. Foster, and J. P. 
McMillan. The commissioner of Chattanooga had 
been given authority to transfer necessary ground to 
such denominations of Christians as would erect suit- 
able houses for public worship ; and the Methodists, 
who then numbered less than fifty members, took ad- 
vantage of this opportunity to secure a church lot. On 
April 29, 1847, J°hn P. 'Long, surviving commission- 
er of Chattanooga, made a deed to the trustees cover- 
ing Lot No. 10, on Lookout Street, a lot fronting no 
feet on that street and running through to Georgia 
Avenue. This lot cornered on Lookout and Fifth 
Streets. Some $3,500 was raised, and a frame shingle- 
roofed building, about 32 x 50 feet, was erected on the 
lot. It was known as "Pepper Box Church" because 


of the shape of its cupola. This church stood about 
where the Wiley Memorial Church now (1910) stands, 
and was occupied by the Methodists up to the Civil 
War. • 

The author will here state that while he was sta- 
tioned in Cleveland during the year 1856-57 he was 
invited by the venerable E. F. Sevier to join him in a 
two days' meeting in this church. It was, perhaps, a 
quarterly meeting, as Sevier was at that time presid- 
ing elder of the Chattanooga District. J. P. and D. C. 
McMillan were at that time the leading members of the 
society. The population of the city was estimated at 
three thousand, very likely an exaggeration. It was 
much scattered, and augured little of the wealthy and 
busy city that now occupies the basin between Lookout 
Mountain and Missionary Ridge and adjacent slopes 
and heights. 

When the Federal troops reached Chattanooga in 
September, 1863, after the battle of Chickamauga, 
they took possession of this church and continued in 
possession of it to the close of the war ; and when they 
vacated it, they left it more than half destroyed. The 
bell and furnishings were gone, the windows and doors 
were out, the floor was broken, and much of the 
weatherboarding had been torn away. The next 
church that was erected was Market Street Church, a 
brick building, situated where the Loveman Building 
is now located. 

Soon after the war the Methodists turned over to 
the colored people the Lookout Street lot and the 
building on it, and on February 11, 1869, deeded all. 
of it to them for a consideration of $1,000. The deal 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 23I 

was a fortunate one for the colored Methodists. It 
furnished them a good site for a church of their own, 
and they sold the Georgia Avenue end of the lot for 

The lot upon which Market Street Church was 
built cost $1,000. Under the pastorate of C. T. Car- 
roll (1868-69) the work of erecting the building be- 
gan. The house, when completed, had cost $12,000. 
It was a plain, substantial building of considerable ca- 
pacity, without the recesses and processes and ginger- 
bread work of the more recent modern architecture. 
On April 8, 1884, the Loveman corner was sold to 
D. R. Loveman for $35,000. On April 15 the trus- 
tees purchased from Mrs. Mary A. Trigg the lot where 
Centenary Church now stands, erected the building, 
and moved into it in 1885. The membership then 
numbered 393. Excluding the organ and stained glass 
windows, Centenary Church and lot cost $35,240.67, 
every dollar of which came from the sale and accumula- 
tions of the Market Street property. 

The sessions of the Conference of 1858 were held in 
the Lookout Street church. 

In 1904 the old parsonage on Vine Street was torn 
down, and the present parsonage was erected at a cost 
of $6,500. On July 14, 1908, the McCallie lot, 
100x160 feet, was purchased at a cost of $25,000. 
This is to be the site of the next house of worship, 
which is expected to be a very costly and imposing 
structure. Under the pastorates of David Sullins in 
1857 an< 3 George C. Rankin in 1884, Chattanooga was 
visited by two remarkable revivals of religion. The 
one in 1857 occurred in the "Pepper Box Church/' and 


Dr. Sullins was assisted by the other ministers of the 
city. The revival of 1884 was conducted in Market 
Street Church by the celebrated evangelist, Sam P. 
Jones, assisted by the pastors of all the Churches in 
the city. 

In 1 87 1 Whiteside Street Church was organized un- 
der the ministry of J. L. M. French, Carroll Long 
being presiding elder. In 1876, under the pastorate of 
J. Wesley Smith, John Boring being the presiding eld- 
er, the present site of the church was purchased, and 
the building which had been used was moved to it. 
The present building was erected in 1892 under the 
pastorate of J. A. Darr. In 1897 J. O. Straley res- 
cued the Church from its debts. Rossville Church 
was erected about the year 1870. In 1885 T. C. Schu- 
ler was appointed to the St. Elmo charge, and dur- 
ing his pastorate the church occupied at present was 
built, with a membership of only fourteen members ; 
but to date (1910) it has increased to three hundred 
and eighteen. The parsonage was built on a part of 
the church lot under the pastorate of J. C. Maness. 

The first Methodist church in Highland Park was 
built in 1889. The present Highland Park Church is 
a fine building. The Hill City Church was erected in 
1888 at a cost of $3,000. The lot was donated by 
Capt. S. J. A. Frazier. The Ridgedale Church was 
completed in 1889. The members of the King Memo- 
rial Church worshiped many years in an old church 
called Ebenezer, in Avondale. In 1889 they purchased 
a lot in East Chattanooga, built a small house, and en- 
larged it afterwards.' This house and lot were sold in 
1907 and the proceeds invested in lots on the corner 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 233 

of Taylor and Farleigh Streets, where they have built 
an excellent house of worship. This congregation 
has a good parsonage also. Under the pastorate of 
the redoubtable J. O. Straley, Trinity Church, an ex- 
cellent building, was erected in 1889 ; and since that a 
house and lot has been purchased for a parsonage. 
In an old school building at the corner of Tenth Street 
and the street car line, hear the wagon works, W. C. 
Bos well organized a Church July 1, 1908, with twen- 
ty-three members. Col. W. J. Bass, a resident of East 
Lake, proposes a generous donation toward the erec- 
tion of a new church edifice in memory of his depart- 
ed wife. The church is to be named the Ida M. Bass 
Memorial Church. 

The above account of the rise and progress of 
Methodism in Chattanooga and vicinity has been main- 
ly condensed from a book entitled "The History of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Chatta- 
nooga," recently published by the Chattanooga Church 
Extension and City Mission Society. The Holston 
Annual of 1909 shows that the Churches mentioned 
above in Chattanooga and immediate suburbs num- 
bered in membership 3,625 ; and I have reason to be- 
lieve that the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is 
the most powerful factor in the Christian civilization 
of the place. 

Sketches of Creed Fulton and Thomas Stringfield 
have been given. M. P. Swaim returned to the Con- 
ference after this. 

Alfred M. Goodykoontz was a tall, robust man of 
German extraction. He was a man of dignified bear- 
ing and uniform piety. He was a thoughtful, sub- 


stantial preacher, but not showy. He traveled some 
of our best circuits, and gave satisfaction. He was 
born in Montgomery (now Floyd)' County, Va., No- 
vember 3 ; 1813; and died in Washington County, Va., 
November 15, 1857. In October of that year he was 
assigned to Abingdon Circuit. His first appointment 
was at Baker's Chapel. To an expectant congregation 
he announced his text : "And it shall come to pass that 
whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be 
saved." Too sick to proceed with the sermon, he 
was carried to the house of Mr. John H. Clark, where 
he suffered with an attack of pneumonia about two 
weeks. When informed that he must die, he said: 
"I am ready." 

Mr. Goodykoontz was married to Miss Mary A. 
Kirkpatrick about the year 1847. She was a sister of 
that scholarly man, Richard L. Kirkpatrick, who was 
for many years a professor in the University of Ten- 
nessee. She was a woman of great moral worth and 
usefulness in the Church and communities where her 
life was spent. 

Charles Mitchell was born in Smyth County, Va., 
February 28, 1814; and died while in charge of Hills- 
ville Circuit June 16, 1858. A short time before his 
death his wife remarked to him that she feared that 
his work was well-nigh done. He replied : "I hope 
not; I would rather preach to sinners than do any- 
thing else." He expressed a desire to recover for the 
sake of his wife and children, but said that death had 
no terrors for him. On his deathbed he was often 
filled with joy, and praised God. 

The Conference met in its thirty-sixth session in 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 2$$ 


Temperance Hall, Abingdon, Va., October 26, 1859, 
Bishop Early President, J. N. S. Huffaker Secre- 
tary, and Grinsfield Taylor Assistant Secretary. 

The financial plan adopted at the last session was 
amended by striking out the clause requiring delin- 
quent preachers to pay into the Conference fund five 
per cent of their receipts. 

So much of the will of the late George Ambrister, 
of Blount County, Tenn., as related to a bequest of his 
to the Conference was ordered to be spread on the 
journal. James Cumming and George W. Alexan- 
der were appointed trustees of this fund. The will 
was as follows: 


I will and devise and bequeath unto Rev. James Cumming 
and his successor the sum of four thousand dollars, which 
sum of money he, as a member of the Holston Conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is to hold as trustee 
for the uses and benefits hereinafter specified ; which is to say, 
I design said sum of money to be held by said Cumming, and 
another to be named by said Conference, who shall also be a 
member of said Conference, and at his death they shall in 
like manner appoint his successor and so on forever, my 
said trustee to hold said sum of money for the benefit of the 
poor widows and 'orphans of the poor ministers who have 
worn themselves out and died ministers of said Conference, 
said sum to be forever held by my said trustee, and the in- 
terest and principal to be used by the said Conference for the 
purpose hereinbefore named at the discretion of said Confer- 
ence. I also design that poor ministers belonging to said 
Conference shall receive a benefit out of the said sum of 
money in the hands of said trustees at the discretion of said 
Conference, and said fund shall be and remain in the hands 
of said trustees for the purpose aforesaid and for no other 
purpose forever, and the receipt of said James Cumming shall 
be a sufficient voucher for my executor; but if he shall die 


before I do, then Rev. Alexander, the present circuit 

preacher of Maryville Circuit, is to take said fund in like 
manner as said Cumming, and under the control and manage- 
ment of said Conference. This bequest I do not wish to fail 
for want of a person to receive it. 

Much the larger part of this fund was eventually 
lost. Rev. L. L. H. Carlock, a strict business man, 
was the last trustee of this fund. His immediate pred- 
ecessor was the Rev. Grinsfield Taylor. A portion of 
the fund was loaned to a Lower East Tennesseean 
without security. Broken up by the war, he could not 
return it. Taylor himself retained and used $4,000 of 
it, but had not given security. Dr. Carlock was ap- 
pointed trustee of the fund in 1893 i* 1 place of Tay- 
lor, who had removed to Florida. He at once re- 
quired security of Mr. Taylor, who promised either 
to give it or to return the money, principal and inter- 
est. This he was honestly preparing to do, and no 
doubt would have done so if his life had been spared; 
but he died in 1894, and out of the $4,000 the Confer- 
ence realized only $388.33. Taylor was at one time 
regarded as wealthy, and he had no doubt of being 
able to refund to the Conference the borrowed money. 
But he had invested largely in orange groves in Flori- 
da, and the night after his death a severe frost killed his 
trees. In the winter of 1894 he went to Conference. 
A friend met him at the depot and escorted him to 
his home. When they reached the gate, Taylor fell 
dead with heart disease. At the time of his death he 
was supposed to be worth $25,000, but by the next 
morning his estate would have paid on his debts not 
over twelve and one-half cents on the dollar. 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 237 

Robertson Gannaway, deceased, having made a be- 
quest to the missionary society of the Church, John 
M. McTeer was appointed to receive it. 

The parent Sunday School Society of the Church 
having proposed to raise a Sunday school publishing 
fund of one hundred thousand dollars, the Holston 
Conference at the present session agreed to raise three 
thousand dollars of that amount, to be paid in three 
equal annual installments. A constitution for the or- 
ganization of a Holston Conference Sunday School 
Society, auxiliary to the parent Sunday School Society 
of the Church, was adopted. 

The Conference authorized the Board of Trustees 
of Martha Washington College to purchase the house 
and grounds then occupied by the Hon. Thomas L. 
Preston (the price not to exceed $20,000), to appoint 
an efficient agent to collect subscriptions and raise 
funds, and to elect a faculty and put the school into 

The Conference adopted a vote of thanks to David 
, R. McAnally, D.D., for the publication of "The Life 
and Times of Samuel Patton," and promised to use 
vigorous exertions in the sale of the volume. It was 
an excellent contribution to Methodist history, and 
very few people are able to realize how much the 
Methodists of Holston are indebted to Dr. McAnally 
for rescuing from oblivion so much valuable history. 
I have received much aid from this work, as also from 
McAnally's "Life and Times of William Patton," in 
the preparation of the volumes of "Holston Method- 

The following resolutions were adopted : 


Resolved: 1. That we respectfully request the Joint Board 
of Trustees and visitors of Emory and Henry College at their 
next annual meeting to take into consideration the propriety 
of establishing a chair of Biblical Literature and Church His- 
tory in connection with the college, whose instruction shall be 
accessible to all students of the college who desire to include 
them in their course of studies and shall be extended free of 
charge to any young man of any Christian denomination who 
is studying in view of the Christian ministry. 

2. That in case such a chair be established we recommend 
that the trustees of the college take immediate steps to secure 
a liberal endowment for the same, promising them our en- 
couragement and cooperation. 

No steps were ever taken by the Joint Board look- 
ing to the establishment of a biblical chair, and for the 
following reasons : A chair of Biblical Literature and 
Church History in the institution would have made it 
in part a theological school. The charter of the col- 
lege did not allow any one Church a majority of mem- 
bers in the board of trustees ; and the board, there- 
fore, not being thoroughly Methodistic, there was in 
it a calm but resolute resistance to the creation of a 
theological department. And such a department could 
not have been established without a change in the 
charter of the college, which said: "No religious de- 
nomination shall at any time establish in connection 
with said college any theological school or professor- 

But since the charter has been amended and the 
college placed entirely under the control of the Meth- 
odist Church, why has not a theological chair been es- 
tablished in the college? Possibly for the following 
reasons : A well-conducted theological department in 
Vanderbilt University has rendered such a chair in 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 239 

Emory and Henry unnecessary, and the money for 
such a chair has not been in sight. 

Admitted on trial : George W. K. Green, John D. Peters, 
Samuel S. Grant, Samuel W. Austin, Jacob T. Freeman, Wil- 
liam P. Doane, Milton Maupin, Walter H. Stevens, Stephen 
S. Sweet, Thomas H. Russell, Daniel R. Reagan, Joseph A. 
Wiggins, Hardy Bennett, Julius T. Curtis, William B. Lyda, 
Gustavus B. Wells, James Mahoney. 

Readmitted : Christopher C. Stump, Miles Foy, Goodson 

Located : Edward E. Gillenwaters, Joseph R. Burchfield, 
Christopher C. Stump, George Creamer, Thomas J. Pope, 
Robert H. Guthrie, John H. Brunner. 

Discontinued: Augustus W. Aston, Charles F. McDonald, 
John H. Keith, Robert N. Strong, Abel R. Wilson, John B. 

Superannuated : Thomas K. Catlett, Willis Ingle, Daniel B. 
Carter, Samuel B. Harwell, James Cumming, Conaro D. Smith, 
Timothy Sullins, Wiley B. Winton, John Alley. 

Died : Robertson Gannaway, Andrew Gass. 

Numbers in society: White, 45,110; colored, 4,875; Indian, 
200. Total, 50,185. Increase, 517. 

Local preachers, 417; traveling preachers, 117. 

Collected for superannuates, etc., $820.37; for missions, 

Edward E. Gillenwaters was a man of considerable 
natural talent and fair culture. He was regarded by 
the populace as an orator. He had something of a cre- 
ative imagination and an exuberant fancy, but as a 
speaker he was without passion. His rhetoric was ver- 
bose and at times grandiloquent. I remember that in 
1856 he preached the popular sermon on Sunday at 
Bunker Hill Camp Ground, in Hawkins County, 
Tenn., and that day he lacked his usual liberty and 
was unusually wordy. After service Brother George 


Merriman, a layman, came to me and said: "If Broth- 
er Gillenwaters doesn't quit talking about the essence 
and quintessence, the devil will get him yet!" Aft- 
er his location he studied law, made a good law- 
yer, and for a number of years was judge of the ju- 
dicial circuit within which he lived, his home being 
in Hawkins County. As far as I have learned, he 
made an able and impartial judge. During the war 
he took the Union side, and on the organization of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church in Tennessee he affil- 
iated with that branch of Methodism. Although he 
remained a local preacher, my impression is that he 
seldom preached while in that relation. Judge Gil- 
lenwaters was no ordinary man, and I believe that the 
world was the better for his having lived in it. 

George Creamer located in Greene County, Tenn., 
and followed farming. He was a fine man, and was 
useful as a local preacher. 

John H. Keith returned to the Conference after 
this, and was for many years a popular and much- 
beloved man among us. 

Andrew Gass was a podgy old fellow when I first 
knew him. His home was then near Dandridge, Tenn. 
He was a consecrated Christian and a man of spotless 
integrity. He was not a great homilist, but he was 
wonderfully gifted in exhortation and prayer. He was 
often called on to pray in missionary rallies and other 
special meetings at our Conference sessions. He was 
a son of Samuel and Rebecca Gass, and was born in 
Jefferson County, Tenn., in May, 1792; and died in 
1859. He was powerfully converted under the preach- 
ing of John Dever at Sulphur Spring Camp Ground, 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 24I 

in Jefferson County, Tenn., in 1825; and in the same 
year was authorized to preach. He joined the Con- 
ference in 1843; ail d did faithful circuit work till his 
superannuation, in 1858. He had a musical voice, and 
often at the close of one of his solos he found the 
congregation bathed in tears. He died of apoplexy. 
In the midst of the excruciating agonies of his last 
moments he sang aloud and rapturously the praises of 
God. To those who inquired of his prospects he re- 
plied : "I am ready to go." 

Robertson Gannaway was one of the most pious men 
of any age or country. I never knew a more spiritual 
man. He really deserves more than a passing notice. 
He was born in Cumberland County, Va., July 7, 1780. 
He was brought up uncjer Presbyterian influence, but 
his mind early revolted against the doctrine of uncon- 
ditional election and reprobation; and believing that 
the apostle Patil taught this doctrine, he became an 
avowed infidel, toward which mental state he had al- 
ready been predisposed by the reading of Thomas 
Paine's "Age of Reason." He also became a profane 
swearer. After marriage he bought a farm near Chil- 
howee Sulphur Springs, in Washington (now Smyth) 
♦County, Va., and built upon it. He kept a house of en- 
tertainment and sold intoxicating beverages. The first 
camp meeting ever held at Sulphur Springs Camp 
Ground was held in August, 1819. His wife attend- 
ed that meeting, and was happily converted. When he 
went to the ground to take her home, she met him re- 
joicing in the Lord ; and the great change wrought in 
her and the evidence of peace and joy in her which he 
saw sent an arrow of conviction to his heart, and the 


wound was not healed till healed by the blood of the 
Lamb. A dancing school was to begin at his home on 
the following Monday, but he informed the patrons 
that his wife was not willing that the school should 
be conducted in her house. 

He had often in his wickedest days promised God 
that if he should ever become convinced of the truth 
of the Bible he would become a Christian ; and now not 
logic but the Holy Ghost, through the plain manifesta- 
tion of the rich experience of his wife and others con- 
verted at the same time, knocked all his infidel props 
from under him, and as an honest man (which he was) 
he felt bound to give himself to the Lord. He had 
talked infidelity; he had criticized and taunted his 
friends who were Methodists^ until they avoided him. 
But now, convinced that Jesus Christ was the Son of 
God, he sought out these criticized friends and offered 
ample apologies for his bad behavior toward them. 
"Ye must be born again," a text suggested to his mind 
by the sudden change in his wife, rang in his ears from 
day to day. He determined to quit swearing and to 
break off from all his wicked habits. He also deter- 
mined to quit selling ardent spirits. But now he was 
in a quandary. He had leased the springs and had* 
made improvements on the property for the accommo- 
dation of visitors, and the customers upon whom he 
was dependent were generally enemies of religion. 
There was a terrible struggle in his mind; but the 
right triumphed, and he lifted his hand and spoke au- 
dibly : "If I never make another dollar, and if I lose ev- 
ery dollar I have already made, I am determined to 
change my life." When he announced his determina- 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 243 

tion to his anxious wife, she rejoiced, and for the first 
time his tears flowed freely. But the case was a beau- 
tiful illustration of the scripture, "Godliness is prof- 
itable unto all things, having promise of the life which 
now is," for his custom at the springs was as good as 
before, if not better. 

He determined to attend the camp meeting at As- 
bury Camp Ground, on Cripple Creek, Wythe County, 
to be held a shOrt time after the one at Chilhowee, at 
which his wife had been converted. He confidently 
expected to find the pearl of great price at this meet- 
ing, and he was not disappointed. Nine penitents went 
to this meeting from his neighborhood, hence on the 
first call penitents presented themselves at the altar. 
Mr. Gannaway, in his book, "Sketches of Former 
Days," gives the following account of the circum- 
stances of his conversion : 

Upward of a hundred professed religion during that meet- 
ing. I was among the first mourners at the altar, and every 
time they were called, which was two or three times a day, I 
was among them. I determined not to lose one opportunity till 
I got religion, and yet I never found it at the altar. On Sat- 
urday evening two brethren, one an old professor, the other 
a young convert, asked me to go with them to the woods. 
We went, and prostrated ourselves on the leaves, and I shall 
never forget my prayer (for I said but a few words) nor 
what occurred to me when I prayed. My prayer was : "Lord, 
thou knowest that I came to this meeting for no other purpose 
than to seek religion." At that moment something flew up 
or down in my throat, which I thought would choke me to 
death. I struggled for breath and became very much alarmed. 
The brethren jumped up, came running to me, and began to 
shout, thinking I was about to receive the blessing. I re- 
covered as soon as I could, and we returned to the camp 


ground; and, though I mourned that night, there was, at 
times, a mixture of joy that I had never felt before. I had a 
strange feeling all day on Sunday. At the three o'clock 
preaching I became so perfectly calm that an exhorter who 
went from our neighborhood noticed it, and as I came out of 
the altar he met me and asked me how I felt I said : "I can- 
not tell how. I am in a strange way. I have lost my con- 
victions, and, though I have prayed earnestly for their return, 
I cannot feel as I did." He laughed, and said: "I am sur- 
prised that a man of your sense would pray so long to get clear 
of a load, and, after it is gone, pray for its return." Said he : 
"You have got religion." I turned off from him, saying to 
myself: "I wonder if that man would persuade me to act the 
hypocrite." I went to the door of the tent of a preacher with 
whom I had formed some little acquaintance, and he asked 
me how I felt. I told him about the same that I had told the 
other man. He, not having noticed me through the day, 
thought it probable that my convictions were partly worn off, 
and, it being late in the evening, he asked me if I would go 
with him to the woods. I told him that I would go with him 
anywhere. We went about a quarter of a mile from the camp 
ground, fell down on the leaves, and he prayed as feeling a 
prayer as I ever heard; but it had .no effect on me, not much 
more than if I had been a stump or a stone. Just as he got 
through a young man of his acquaintance was brought near 
us, and he left me and went to him. He professed in a few 
minutes, and the preacher returned to me. I had gotten up, 
and was standing, holding by a dogwood limb. He asked me 
some questions. I told him I believed that the devil had been 
trying all day to drive me into despair. "But," said I, "I will 
pray; and if I go to hell, I will go there praying." He then 
asked me if I loved the people of God. I told him I thought 
I did. He then asked me if I loved Jesus. I told him that I 
could not answer that question, but that I wanted to love him. 
"Why" said he, "you have got religion! Do not pray for 
conviction, but pray for the evidence." I thought certainly 
this preacher knows, and he will not persuade me to act the 
hypocrite, and I tried to believe, 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 245 

We returned to the camp ground. I met my wife at the 
tent door, caught hold of her, and said, "I have reason to be- 
lieve that the Lord has converted my soul," being careful, 
however, to attribute the cause of my belief to what the 
preacher had said. At that moment I felt the love of God 
flash through me like lightning. I saw it as plainly as I felt 
it. It left me as quickly, but left me in a calm state of mind; 
and, though I would not profess, I commenced exhorting 
others. The members insisted on my believing, but I refused. 
Late in the night, when all was perfectly silent in the en- 
campment, nearly all the people in bed and asleep, all 
the inmates of the tent where I was staying in bed and 
most of them asleep, I was lying, thinking (I scarcely 
know what), when I seemed to be asked by an audible 
voice: "Do you love Jesus?" I broke silence and roused 
the slumbering crowd by loud acclamations of joy, pro- 
claiming, "Now, if I had Brother Mitchell here, I could 
tell him whether I loved Jesus" — the first time, I think, that I 
ever said "Brother" in that sense. I knew it was Jesus, for I 
felt him all over me and through me. I could not hear the 
name for some days without rejoicing, or feeling very much 
like it. It was and always has been to me the sweetest name 
by which Deity is known, especially ever since Jesus was 
formed in my heart, the hope of glory. 

That morning, the 4th of October, 1819, was a little frosty ; 
but it was the most beautiful morning to me that I had ever 
seen. The sun's rays through the trees and on the encamp- 
ment excelled anything I had ever seen for grandeur and sub- 
limity. Everything seemed to smile, and I could outlaugh all 
the people and thought I was the happiest of them all. That 
day I joined the Church. The sacrament was administered, 
and there the enemy took the first advantage of me by sug- 
gesting, just as the stewards began to prepare for administering 
the Lord's Supper, that I ought not to take it because I was 
too young. I believed him for probably half an hour, during 
which time I was very unhappy; but I finally resolved to take 
it, right or wrong. And I never was happier than I was 
before I rose from my knees. Jesus was truly manifested to 


me as he is not to the world. That was the happiest day to 
me that I ever experienced. I spent every intermission in 
traveling to and fro through the encampment, exhorting every 
sinner I met, and the Lord wrung tears from the eyes of 
some of the most hardened sinners. 

Before the meeting broke, some one asked me what I would 
do with my fiddle. Some advised me to keep it and play 
hymns. Brother Samuel Kennerly, preacher in charge, who 
was standing by, advised me to burn it. Said he : "When you 
are playing a hymn, the devil might strike you on the elbow 
and make you play a jig." 

In a short time after Mr. Gannaway's conversion 
he was made a class leader,, and a little later an ex- 
horter; and he made appointments and held prayer 
meetings in the country around. A girl who attend- 
ed one of his meetings went home and reported that 
Mr. Gannaway prayed as hard as he used to swear. 
At a quarterly meeting, John Tevis presiding elder 
and William P. Kendrick preacher in charge, he was 
recommended to the Abingdon District Conference to 
be held at Brush Creek Camp Ground, on the Jones- 
boro Circuit, for license to preach. He was there 
licensed. This was in September, 1823. In the same 
month he attended a camp meeting at Lebanon Camp 
Ground, in Washington County, Va. He gives the 
following account of his first attempt to preach : 

I went to a camp meeting at Lebanon, Washington County, 
Va. ; and, as unexpectedly as any of the whole catalogue of 
circumstances, was the announcement of the preacher: "You 
must preach at ten o'clock." It was on Saturday, September 
27, 1823. I was the more surprised because I had just held 
prayer meeting, and hoped that that was all they would call 
on me to do in the pulpit. Neither my wife nor any of my 
relatives knew that I was to preach till they saw me ascend 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 247 

the pulpit. A lady cousin of ours saw me, and went to my 
wife and said : "You can't guess who is going to preach. Come 
and see !" There was some trembling anxiety and prayer. I 
steadied myself by holding to the bookboard, so that I partly 
concealed my shock, and read my hymn, repeated and sang it, 
prayed, and then read my text : "Search the Scriptures." Right 
before me, in a chair, sat Brother Watson, an old traveling 
preacher, and a Brother Anderson, who had been a traveling 
preacher, who then lived in Jonesboro, Tenn. The first words 
of my introduction were : "This is the first text I ever read 
from which to address a congregation." I reckon the people 
began to think it a little strange that so many were put up at 
so popular a meeting to preach their first sermons. I made a 
few more remarks about beginners, etc., and then said: "I 
will draw the bow at a venture, and I pray God to direct the 
arrow to the hearts of the congregation." I saw some big 
tears start in old Brother Watson's eyes, and O, how much 
good that did me ! . The cross rolled off, and what I did say 
I said boldly. My wife always said that it was the best 
sermon she ever heard me preach. 

I will venture at this point in the narrative to » give 
an account of a strange psychological experience of 
Mr. Gannaway. In 1825 he had an attack of bilious 
fever ; and when he became convalescent, he acted im- 
prudently, and his lungs became seriously involved, so 
that he found it necessary to abstain from speaking 
in public almost altogether for several months. His 
physician thought he never would be able to preach 
again. He went once to a meeting of the Rev. Isaac 
Lewis, who, after preaching, requested him to give 
out a hymn and call upon some one to pray. He arose, 
looked over the congregation, and reasoned thus: 
"Here is a large congregation, and it may be that I 
will never have such a one again; and I will talk a 
little." The more he talked the more he felt like talk- 


ing, till he broke down and some one else concluded. 
One afternoon he walked out, and while out took a 
violent ague. His doctor candidly informed him that, 
in his opinion, a large abcess had formed in his lungs ; 
and that when it should break, death would imme- 
diately ensue. This information brought with it a 
shock that struck him upon the head, and passed 
through his whole system; but in a few moments it 
left him in a calm state of mind, resigned and happy. 
■The next morning (Sabbath) was a beautiful morn- 
ing, perfectly clear with the exception of some majes- 
tic white clouds in the sky. He was lying in a situa- 
tion from which he could see them floating in the 
northern sky. This thought passed through his mind : 
"This is the Sabbath day, and in all probability before 
another Sabbath I shall be above those clouds." At 
that moment he saw a personage whose apparel was 
much brighter than the light, and from whom issued 
a stream of light apparently two or three feet in di- 
ameter, which tapered like a cone, the apex reaching 
his breast. Some eight or ten other personalities of 
similar appearance were formed in a line on each 
hand, not as large, however, as the central figure, but 
all dressed precisely alike. He was at once filled with 
all the joy that he could bear and live. He burst into 
loud acclamations, and his wife and the doctor ran in, 
expecting to take their final leave of him. He gazed 
at the vision for some time after the family came in, 
and attempted to describe it; but he found it impossi- 
ble to do so satisfactorily. Like Paul, he had seen 
things which it was impossible to utter. In speaking 
of this vision, he says : "I have often said that if I 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 249 

never found a better heaven than I enjoyed then, and 
it could be purchased in no other way than by lying in 
jail and rattling my chains like Paul and Silas, I 
would cheerfully pay the price." Was this a halluci- 
nation, or were these brilliant figures around the sick 
man really ministering angels ? Two years from that 
time he joined the Conference, and he did effective 
work for many years. 

After Mr. Gannaway had determined to become a 
traveling preacher he was troubled in mind by the fact 
that he was in debt. To pay his debts he sold the 
time of some of his young negroes up to a certain 
date at which he intended to free them, and freed oth- 
ers at once, thus disentangling himself from the affairs 
of this life. Later he freed all his negroes and con- 
veyed them to the Northwest. 

Mr. Gannaway joined the Holston Conference in 
1827, and was sent to New River Circuit as junior 
under Goodson. McDaniel. He did efficient work in 
many circuits till 1846, when he was superannuated; 
and he remained in this relation to the time of his 
death, which occurred January 12, 1859. In addition 
to his pastoral labors, he was for a short time steward 
of Emory and Henry College at the opening of that 
institution. In his "Sketches of Former Days" he 
gives us something of the working of the manual labor 
system of the college, as follows : 

Well, I went to my circuit (Rogersville), and traveled 
until January, when I, being appointed steward to Emory and 
Henry College, left the circuit and went to that appointment. 

I came on to the college and spent some two or three months 
in improving the stables and garden before the school was 
opened, which, I think, commenced sometime in April, 1838. 


I went back to the circuit for things I had left. While I was 
gone some incendiary set fire to a large log barn, nearly full 
of sheaf oats, hay, and straw, and burned it down, and also a 
large stable which Brother Winniford had built for his own 
use which was full of hay and a quantity of sheaf oats. 
Winniford was the man that did the woodwork of all the 
buildings. It was barely possible to save the horses, some 
eight or ten, in the different stables. Winniford was away 
from home; no men there except his hands, and they became 
so alarmed that it was thought by all that had it not been for 
the presence of mind of my wife the steward's house, crib, 
and the house that Winniford lived in would have been 
burned up. She contrived, and Winniford's boys executed 
manfully. Some students came in before the school was 
opened, and I set them to work for their board, as the college 
was designed to be a manual labor institution; and we so 
operated it while I was there, but it was soon proved very 
clearly that the plan could not be successfully carried out. 
The tools were laid aside, and the labor dispensed with. I 
never saw boys lay hold more cheerfully than they did after 
we had operated awhile, with but very few exceptions. I 
divided them into companies of eight or ten, appointed one 
prefect, and changed them every week. I put some to chop- 
ping, some to splitting rails, some to making fences, some to 
grubbing, and some to removing the dirt that was thrown out 
of the different cellars. I also had a carpenter company. We 
built several little houses, besides the barn. In a word, we did 
a great deal of work during the six or seven months in which 
I was employed. We cleared fifty or sixty acres of land ; and 
at one time we had a very good prospect for corn and pota- 
toes, but we had a distressing drought which very nearly 
burned up our corn. All these things taken together made a 
great deal of labor for the steward every day. At half after 
one o'clock I would blow the trumpet, collect the students, 
and fix them at their different stations. Every Monday morn- 
ing each prefect would give in the labor of his company of 
the preceding week, which I would have to enter on record. 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 251 

This, with other labors of the day, always made Monday a busy 
day with me. 

Mr. Gannaway also gives an account of the first re- 
vival that ever occurred at Emory and Henry College, 
and I cheerfully yield space to this account. 

I am yet at the college, and, as I promised in my last, 
I repeat that I think this number will be much more interesting 
to your readers than the last. It may not be amiss to mention 
here something of my mind about the college when we first 
set the scheme on foot. When Brother C. Fulton, who sel- 
dom fails to make his mark wherever he strikes, first pre- 
sented his subscription paper to me, I had but little, if any, 
notion of giving anything. I was in debt and hard-run and 
was not much in favor of colleges at best, knowing but little 
about them. But in his arguments he touched a cord which 
roused my mind into action. Said he : "The school will be 
conducted by religious men entirely, and we may raise up 
many preachers and send them into the field." And, though 
I do not believe in education religion or education preachers, 
yet I think it is a good thing for preachers to have a good 
English education, and, indeed, for some of them to have a 
thorough education. I have felt the need of an education, 
and should feel it now much more sensitively if I had long 
to live in the world. Before he left me, I made my mark for 
one hundred dollars, which I paid in twenty five-dollar annual 
installments. Now, here let me tell you that nothing but the 
work that was presented to me among the students, of talk- 
ing and preaching to them, would have taken me from the 
itinerant field. When the students began to come in, I began 
to bring the all-absorbing subject of the salvation of their 
souls before them and used every reasonable and lawful 
stratagem to gain or get into their good graces ; and I think 
I succeeded to some extent. The result was glorious — yes, 
superlatively glorious ! 

I will, as near as I can recollect, give some of the circum- 
stances of the beginning of the revival. It was apparent that 
some of the students had become convicted and were serious. 


Two of them went to Sulphur Springs Camp Meeting and 
were happily converted. One of them left the world in tri- 
umph fifteen or sixteen years ago. The other is yet alive and, 
I think, ought to preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, but I fear he loves the present world too well. They 
returned from the camp meeting happy. I have no par- 
ticular recollection of what occurred till the following Sab- 
bath. In the evening Brother C. Collins requested me to go 
up and pray with the students. They then had prayers on 
the second story of the steward's hall (or boarding house), 
which was also their schoolroom. I complied. I prayed with 
them and gave them a short exhortation. When we dismissed 
and were leaving the room, I still felt like exhorting them. 
I took them personally or individually. I will give some 
names. I think the first one I spoke to was William Cecil. 
I saw that he felt it. I then turned to John Hurt, who had 
been a member of the Church for several years without reli- 
gion. , I thought that he had become quite careless. I told him 
the danger of losing or stifling our convictions. The Spirit 
carried my words to his heart. I then turned about, and 
there stood William Sanders, a relative of mine, looking on. 
I said to him : "I feel very sorry to think that Satan must 
get some of my kinsfolk. I can't give it up." The Spirit 
was there and directed the arrow to his heart. I exhorted 
others and went out. The sun being now about to hide behind 
the western horizon, they retired to secret prayer — some to 
the woods, some to the corn field. I think that it was in the 
month of August when the two young men that had got reli- 
gion (I will name them too, John G. Cecil and William S. 
Winniford) went to the unfinished chapel. They got happy, 
and that attracted the attention of those who had gone to the 
woods and field, and many others flocked to the chapel to see 
what was going on there. A number of the students collected 
together in the chapel and* got into a high way. Some were 
pleading for mercy with a loud voice, and some shouted aloud 
for joy "so that the people could not discern the noise of the 
shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: 
for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 253 

heard afar off." (Ezra iii. 13.) We had our door; shut, at- 
tending to family prayers. As soon as I was through, one 
of the students thrust the door open and seemed to be in a 
fright. He said: "O, Mr. Gannaway, go up to the college. 
The students are all getting religion." As soon as he opened 
the door I heard the noise I spoke of above. The chapel 
was about one hundred and fifty yards from the boarding 
house. I went to Brother Collins's room, which was over 
us, and asked if he would go up. He seemed not disposed to 
go. Brother G. Winniford and his wife and my wife and I 
went up. Brother Collins came up soon after. In an hour 
or two five of the students and a colored man we had hired 
got religion. I think Cecil, Sanders, and Hurt were three 
of those that found the "pearl of great price." Sanders long 
since went to the spirit world in great peace and triumph. 
Hurt also left this world some years since, showing to his 
friends the power of that religion which he. professed. Cecil 
is yet alive. He preferred the law to the gospel. He has 
backslidden, but I think he is yet moral. He is a clever man, 
but I fear that he lost after all if he doesn't wake up 

The work now began to be general, and the wicked began 
to persecute. They said that it would destroy the school, and 
charged some of the students with shouting to please old 
Gannaway. The students would retire to secret prayer in the 
evening and return from every direction shouting and prais- 
ing God. The camp meeting was coming on, and nearly all 
the school were anxious to go. I think the meeting was to- 
ward the last of September. They were willing to find their 
lodging if they could get a house and victuals. The old meet- 
inghouse roof at the camp ground had fallen in. I got up a 
subscription, and in a short time I got the means and had 
the roof raised and covered. I gave the building to the 
students. We made their coffee and cooked their victuals, 
and they went and came when they pleased and waited on 
themselves. I never saw anything work more harmoniously 
and get along more smoothly. They were highly gratified, 
and I think that twelve or fifteen professed to find the "pearl 


of great price" during the meeting. And O what a glorious 
time they had the night after they returned to the college! 
Some two or three professed conversion that night, and loud 
hallelujahs were sounded out in many of their dormitories 
that night. Brother Harris, a presiding elder from the North 
Carolina Conference, was with us that night at the college. 
He seemed to enjoy very much what he saw. He had come 
to enter his sons, and the work appeared to him to be a pleas- 
ing opening of the school. Just before the revival Clark 
McPhetridge, who had professed religion when a small boy, 
took sick and died. He had become cold, as is common with 
young people. He lay eight or nine days, and but little, if 
anything, had been said to him about his future. For three 
or four days it had been announced that the disease was 
broken, and that he would be up in a short time. I was 
entering on my books the labor of the students of the week. 
It was Mondey morning. A thought struck me that all 
was not right. I dropped my pen and ran down to his 
room. I asked him how he was. He said : "Tolerable." 
Said I : "How does it look beyond the grave ?" Said he : "I 
have not thought about it much." I felt his pulse and said: 
"You had better think of it, and think closely, for I should 
not be at all surprised if you leave us in a few days." I 
pressed it on him, prayed with him, and left. This was di- 
rectly after breakfast. Soon after dinner a black girl came 
running into my room, and said : "You must go to Clark 
directly. He is dying and wants to see you." I hastened 
down, and as I entered he said: "O, Mr. Gannaway, I am 
dying and now know that 

'Jesus can ma'ce a dying- bed 

Feel so~t as downy pillows are.' " 

Said he: "Send for the students; I want to see them all." 
I informed Brother Collins, and he told the students to go in, 
not more than ten or twelve at a time. They nearly all went 
in, and he exhorted them as they came in. That night the 
doctor came. He told the doctor that he was going to die, 
but he said: "Doctor, I am ready.| He exhorted the doctor, 
as I was informed. The next morning, about nine o'clock, 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 255 

the sick man left the world in great peace. If I had not 
gone to see him, he might have died without leaving any ev- 
idence of his safe exit. O what a privilege to talk to a dying 
saint ! 

I forgot to say that we had about seventy students in all. 
About twenty-five professed conversion in the revival. These, 
joining the Church, made forty members in all. 

Gannaway was a man of limited education, but of 
sterling common sense. He could not be pronounced 
an able preacher, but his sermons were quite useful and 
always commanded the respectful attention of even the 
most critical hearers. His extraordinary piety and 
spirituality are his titles to historic recognition. He 
believed in the Wesleyan doctrine of entire sanctifica- 
tion — sought, obtained, professed, enjoyed, and prac- 
ticed it. A holier man I never knew. While he 
preached the doctrine of Christian perfection as taught 
by John Wesley and held by the Methodists of his day, 
he was no crank. Instead of being censorious, as some 
sanctificationists of the present day are, he was always 
almost foolishly charitable. He was so honest that 
he was disposed to believe that everybody else was hon- 
est ; he was so full of the Holy Spirit that he was dis- 
posed to believe in the sincerity of every man who pro- 
fessed to love the Lord. 

His wife, "Sallie," was his equal in every respect. 
She literally deserves the title of saint. Instrumental 
in bringing her husband to Christ, she was his help- 
meet in everything in the best sense of the word. 
When I was a student in Emory and Henry College, I 
attended a two days' meeting at Mahanaim, near Salt- 
ville. President Colling preached a learned sermon at 
ten o'clock Sunday, and a short intermission was giv- 


en before the eleven-o'clock service. As the people 
were withdrawing from the house for a few minutes 
of recreation, Mrs. Gannaway arose and asked for a 
few moments' attention, which was cheerfully ren- 
dered. She said that she had been sick, near the point 
of death, and that she had a message to the people 
from the borderland. She then exhorted sinners to 
turn to God and Christians to be faithful. I doubt if 
there was a dry eye in the house when she concluded, 
and all went out profoundly impressed with the truth 
of religion and the importance of serving God. 

The notice of Mr. Gannaway's death in the General 
Minutes states that Mrs. Gannaway died in December, 
1855 ; but 'Mr. Gannaway himself in his "Sketches" 
says that she died March 4, 1853. 

As I am writing to do spiritual good, and as I be- 
lieve that I cannot better serve the cause of Christ in 
what I write than by detailing the experiences of the 
saints, I shall copy from Father Gannaway's "Sketch- 
es" an account of the sickness and death of Mrs. Gan- 
naway. He gives an account of the sickness and 
death of his wife's sister ; Mrs. Rogers, and adds: 

The night after she was buried, my wife, who was then at 
Sister Atkins's, took a spasm, something like croup or asthma, 
and for several hours we thought she would die. She got 
better, and in a few days partially recovered ; but the case 
terminated in disease of the heart, which, in four years, lack- 
ing one month, ended her earthly career. For many years 
before she took that spasm she was as dead, to the world as 
any person I ever knew; from that time to the day of her 
death she appeared to be perfectly resigned, and I think she 
had no other desire to live but for my sake and to do good. 
Sometime in the course of the next winter she took another 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 257 

very bad spell while traveling from the neighborhood of Lead 
Mines, where we had been on a visit among our friends. 
We were on our way to her brother's, John Gannaway's, on 
Cripple Creek, who lived where she was reared and where 
her father and mother and Sister Rogers and several other 
friends were buried. She rode ten or twelve miles in that 
condition, struggling for breath, and it was very cold. I 
was afraid she would fall off her horse; but I could not pre- 
vail with her to stop, though we passed the house df friends. 
She said she wished to get to the old place, to die and be 
buried there. Under the protecting hand of a good Providence 
we got to her brother's safely. His daughters happened to 
have water warm when we got there, and we soon had her 
feet in it. We rubbed her breast with spirits of turpentine 
and gave her a little camphor, and in a short time she was 
about as cheerful as usual. In the fall following she had 
another spell, though not so severe as the others. When 
she recovered from these spells, she was generally as well as 
usual. The May following she had a spell in which she 
would get better, and then the spasms would return. We had 
very little hope of her recovering then ; but she did recover, 
and we hoped that she was restored to health. She had but 
one slight spell till she took the one that terminated her ex- 
istence two years later, which was March 4, 1853. When we 
went to bed, about nine o'clock, she appeared to be about as 
usual; but we were looking for a shock, as she had been 
threatened the second night before. She slept and rested as 
well as ever I had • seen her till about a quarter before 
twelve o'clock, when she awoke and asked me what time of 
night it was. I told her that I did not know, as I had not heard 
the clock since we lay down. She said she had not either. 
I asked her how she felt. She said, "Well ;" but added, "I 
think I feel a tightness in my breast, more than common." In 
less than five minutes after she was choked so that she could 
scarcely speak. In ten minutes more the spasm appeared to 
break, and I thought she would have a light spell. Little did 
I think she was to leave me in fifteen or twenty minutes. She 
was on her knees in bed, I said; "Don't be alarmed; I think 



the spasm is broken." She raised her head and looked me in 
the face and said : "I am not the least scared, old man. Don't 
you be scared." She then began to say: "Lord Jesus, re- 
ceive my spirit this night, if it be thy blessed will." This she 
repeated probably six or seven times, and always added : "Not 
my will, but thine, be done." She then began to exclaim, "O 
bless the Lord!" which she also repeated several times. I 
was standing by the bed, holding the cover on her, for it was 
very cold. She said, "Now, lay me at ease," and I stretched 
her feet down. I felt of her feet, which were very cold. I 
got out of bed and had just time to announce to Eliza Scates 
that her feet had got perfectly warm when I heard an un- 
usual rattling in her throat. I called her, and she did not 
answer. I caught her up like a child, and turned her face to 
the front of the bed; but the spirit had fled. No one can 
imagine the shock it gave me, for I thought to that moment 
that she was better. "O," thought I, "could I have only sus- 
pected she was going then, what would I have given that I 
might have asked her some questions about her future pros- 
pects !" I was almost tempted to doubt her safe exit. It 
was but a little, if any, more than half an hour from the time 
she took that spell till she was gone. She had often said when 
in health that she hoped she would not trouble her friends to 
sit up with her when she died, though she was always resigned 
in every spell. She often said she was not as happy as she 
wished to be. I never saw her in ecstasy in any spell till 
the spell she took two years before her death, which lasted 
several days. I was standing not far from her bed. She 
seemed to be in a study, when she exclaimed : "O, I can't 
sing!" Said I" to her: "What do you want to sing?" She 
said : "I want to sing 'My Home Is over Jordan.' I have been 
trying for some time." She then broke out in loud accla- 
mations of joy. At another time Letitia Scates came into her 
room and asked about her prospects. She broke out again. 
Lettie joined her, and they made the house ring. 

Brother Hicks, I thank God that I am not under the neces- 
sity of coming down to the bed of affliction to find circum- 
stances sufficient on which to predicate my hope of her safe 

CONFERENCES OF 1 858 AND 1 859. 259 

retreat from this world of disappointment to the world of bliss, 
for from the time she took the first bad spell to her death she 
would talk of it as cheerfully as she would talk of visiting a 
friend; and, though she believed she would be taken away 
suddenly in one of those spells, she was generally more cheer- 
ful and pleasant in her manners after she took the first spell 
than before. And O how cheerful and pleasant she was in her 
manners before we went to bed the night she died ! I scarcely 
can restrain my tears when I think of her cheerful and pleas- 
ant look that night when she said to me after prayers: "Old 
man, do you think I ate too much supper to-night?" I said: 
"No." "Well," said she, "I am swelled in my stomach now." 
She had supped on light diet. I almost imagine I can see 
her sitting at the foot of our bed (for there was the window 
she generally sat by, near the fire). She looked up at me, 
just before we lay down, and said: "Old man, do you ever 
think about how angels look?" I have forgotten what I said. 
I know I was afraid of exciting her. This could not have been 
four hours before she was an angel. 

I have chosen to copy the above in the simple, un- 
pretentious language of Father Gannaway. Although 
he was a man of sterling common sense, he was not a 
scholar, and his style was not bookish. 

Readers of Methodist history cannot but be struck 
with the exaggerated importance which the old Meth- 
odists attached to the last words and experiences of dy- 
ing people, as if the eternal destiny of souls hinged on 
the transient phenomena of the dying moment. The en- 
tertainment of a moment's doubt of the safe exit of Sal- 
lie Gannaway was the height of absurdity. Her last 
journey and her latest words and experiences forcibly 
remind me of the words and actions of Elijah just be- 
fore he ascended to God in the chariot of fire. 

Recurring to Father Gannaway's style, I call to 
mind that during the Civil War a Confederate chap- 


lain, who was a minister of the Presbyterian Church, 
stopped with me in Marion, Va., and stayed all night. 
There happened to be in his bedroom a copy of Gan- 
naway's "Sketches of Former Days." Ift the morning 
he remarked that he had read the little volume with 
absorbing interest, and that Gannaway's style remind- 
ed him of Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress." This was 
quite a tribute to this unpretentious old Methodist 
preacher but really only another illustration of the 
adage that "A touch of nature makes us all akin." 

The author was elected Professor of Mathematics 
and Ancient Languages in Holston Conference Fe- 
male College, in Asheville, N. C. ; and entered upon 
his duties in the autumn of 1858. Anson W. Cum- 
mings, D.D., was President, and Mr. R. B. Vance was 
Treasurer. Vance was a member of the Board of 
Trustees, but was not a teacher in the institution. In 
the month of September, i860, I was aided by Mr. 
Vance in a series of prayer meetings in the college for 
the benefit of the young ladies. The meetings began 
at eight o'clock every night, and lasted one hour. On 
Sunday night of the 16th we had a shower of bless- 
ings. Up to that time there had been only three con- 
versions, but that night we had a Pentecost. There 
was excitement — great excitement. There was noise. 
But there were more conversions to the size of the 
company and to the amount of noise than I ever wit- 
nessed on any occasion. During the space of about 
two hours seventeen souls professed to obtain pardon- 
ing love. Dr. Cummings, who had not attended these 
meetings, hearing the noise, entered the room where 
the meetings were being held, and dismissed the con- 

CONFERENCES OF 1858 AND 1859. 261 

gregation. As the girls ascended the stairs to their 
rooms, they went praising God aloud, but not in a 
boisterous manner. The Doctor, as he said, was afraid 
that the news of the excitement would create adverse 
criticism in the town. The fact is, the man was not in 
a spiritual condition to be in sympathy with a genu- 
ine work of God. It was a revelation of an unfortun- 
ate phase of his character. If the meetings had been 
continued for several days, the revival would have 
swept the college and possibly involved the whole 
town. As it was, it was concluded on the night of 
the 1 8th. In this meeting Mr. Vance was a flame of 

Conferences of i860 and 1861. 

The Conference met in its thirty-seventh session in 
the chapel of the Holston Conference Female College, 
in Asheville, N. C, October 17, i860, Bishop Paine 
President, and David Sullins and Grinsfield Taylor 

The college chapel had just been completed, and it 
constituted a spacious and convenient Conference room. 

An interesting feature of the session was the pres- 
ence of Dr. H. N. McTyeire, editor of the Nashville 
Christian Advocate, who in a speech before the Con- 
ference represented the interests of the Publishing 
House. In the social circle he drew everybody to him. 
He was communicative, but neither egotistic nor garru- 
lous. He preached one of the sermons of the session, 
and it made a fine impression. 

An important appeal case came up at this .session. 
William Foulds, a local preacher, had been expelled 
from the Church by the Quarterly Conference of the 
Waynesville Circuit. The appeal was tried and the 
action of the lower court reversed. Mr. Foulds was an 
Englishman who had recently come to this country as 
a lay preacher. He was somewhat deficient in common 
sense, but he was able and even brilliant in the pul- 
pit. His sermons would have created a sensation in 
the great centers of the country. But he did not un- 
derstand our people, and they did not understand him, , 
and his life was one of doubtful usefulness in our 


CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 263 

The report of the Committee on Education stated 
that the Athens Female College, though in its infancy, 
had reached a state of prosperity which its most san- 
guine friends had hardly expected in so short a period. 
The bishop was requested to reappoint Erastus Row- 
ley, D.D., to the presidency of the college. The report 
represented Martha Washington College as in a very 
hopeful condition, and stated that, though in its first 
year, over a hundred pupils had been in attendance, 
and that the trustees had secured an excellent faculty. 
The report represented Emory and Henry College as 
in a high state of prosperity. Richland Institute, in 
Haywood County, N. C, was reported as doing good 
work; and the request of the trustees for the reap- 
pointment of William Hicks and James R. Long to the 
school was indorsed by a vote of the Conference. The 
report represented that Strawberry Plains College had 
been sold for debt on a decree of the court, had been 
bought by a joint-stock company, and would still be 
conducted in the interest of the Conference. Holston 
Conference Female College was reported as in a high 
state of prosperity, with ample grounds and buildings, 
an excellent faculty, and one hundred and fifty pupils. 
Kind mention was made of Bascom College, in Bun- 
combe County, N. C, and Hiwassee College, in Mon- 
roe County, Tenn., which were not under the imme- 
diate control of the Conference. The bishop was re- 
quested by vote of the Conference to appoint Wiley 
F. Parker to the former and John H. Brunner to the 

The report of the board of stewards showed that 
one hundred and ten ministers had been engaged in 


active service in the bounds of the Conference during 
the year (sixty-six married and forty-four single), and 
that the average salary paid them was $251.77 on an 
average claim of $348.30. Strong resolutions were 
adopted urging the stewards and people of the vari- 
ous societies to do better in the matter of ministerial 

The Sunday school report showed that there were in 
the Conference 370 Sunday schools, 2,313 officers and 
teachers, and 14,046 pupils. 

Admitted on trial : Charles K. Miller, Andrew J. Frazier, 
Francis A. Farley, John N. Summers, Enoch W. Moore, 
Fleming D. Crumley, Philip L. Chambers, Hamilton B. Swish- 
er, A. R. Wilson, Robert G. Blackburn, William H. Eblen, 
James R. Ballew, Jonathan L. Mann, William H. Talley. 

Readmitted : John H. Brunner, Thomas J. Pope, Joshua B. 

Located : Miles Foy, Moses Seaton, R. K. Scruggs, Andrew 
C. Copeland, John W- Williamson. 

Discontinued: John D. Peters, S. W. Austin. 

Superannuated : James Cumming, Daniel B. Carter, Timothy 
Sullins, Wiley B. Winton, Raffael W. Patty, Conaro D. Smith, 
Willis Ingle, John Alley. 

Numbers in society: White, 47,251; colored, 4,826; Indian, 
150. Total, 52,227. Increase, 2,042. 

Local preachers, 425 ; traveling preachers, 144. 

Collected for superannuates, etc., $1,088; missionary collec- 
tion, $4,773-19- 

John W. Williamson located in Rhea County, Tenn. 
He has followed farming, is still living (1909), and is 
an excellent man. 

A notice has already been given of Miles Foy. 

The Conference met in its thirty-eighth session in 
the Episcopal Church in Greeneville, Tenn., October 9, 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 26$ 

186 1 ; Bishop Andrew President, John H. Brunner 
and William H. Bates Secretaries. The Episcopalians 
of Tennessee have always been Highchurch, and the 
reader may be surprised to learn that the Conference 
had the use of the Episcopal house of worship for its 
sessions and for public worship. This fact is evidently 
attributable to one of two causes or both — the unusual 
breadth of the rector or the uniting influence of the 
war pressure ; for the War between the States had 
begun, and the invasion of the South by troops of 
the Northern States was having the effect of weaken- 
ing the force of local and sectarian differences. The 
pressure without was producing union within. 

Among the fifty-eight names that answered to roll 
call the first two days I find sixteen names which, 
through the influence of the estrangements of the civ- 
il strife that had begun, eventually became identified 
with the Northern branch of Methodism. 

The Rev. Mr. Mobrey, rector of the Episcopal 
Church of Greeneville, and Dr. Abbey, Financial Sec- 
retary of the Methodist Publishing House, were in- 
troduced to the Conference. Richard Abbey, D.D., 
was a member of the Mississippi Conference. He was 
a man of considerable learning and talent. He was 
the author of several books. One of his books, "Ecce 
Ecclesia," was widely read and commented on. It was 
the third of the Ecce Series, which at one time created 
a sensation in the literary world. The first of the se- 
ries was "Ecce Homo," which exploited the humanity 
of Jesus ; the second was "Ecce Deus," which exploit- 
ed the deity of Jesus; and the third, by Dr. Abbey, was 
a discussion of Church polity. Some critics pronounced 


the third the best of the series. Once ; in a conversation 
with myself, Bishop Wightman, speaking of this series, 
which he had read with great interest, said: "When I 
read 'Ecce Ecclesia,' I was greatly delighted with it; 
and you can hardly imagine my surprise when I learned 
that the author was old Dick Abbey." 

The following were elected delegates to the Gener- 
al Conference, which was to have met in 1862, and 
which, owing to the state of the country, did not meet — 
namely: E. E. Wiley, E. F. Sevier, J. S. Kennedy, 
James Atkins, R. M. Stevens, J. M. McTeer, William 
Robeson. Reserves: G. W. Alexander, A. W. Cum- 

A motion was offered to memorialize the General 
Conference to extend the pastoral term, but it was lost 
— ayes, 30; noes, 40. 

The following resolution, signed by John M. Mc- 
Teer, J. S. Kennedy, and John Boring, was adopted, 
to wit: 

Resolved, That this Conference, in view of the number of 
soldiers now in the Confederate army in defense of our com- 
mon interests, respectfully ask the prayers of the Church in 
their behalf; and that we extend to the families of our de- 
ceased soldiers our prayers and heartfelt sympathies. 

William A. Harris was admitted on trial at this ses- 
sion and appointed to the presidency of Martha Wash- 
ington College. 

The following preachers were appointed to chap- 
laincies in the Confederate army: William C. Bow- 
man, Chaplain of the Third Regiment of Floyd's Bri- 
gade ; David Sullins, Chaplain of the Third Regi- 
ment of East Tennessee Volunteers. The following 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND 1 86 1. 267 

were simply reported as "gone to the army:" Joseph 
A. Wiggins, Walter H. Stevens, S. S. Grant. 

Admitted on trial: Samuel R. Wheeler, Benjamin F. 
Nuckolls, Levi K. Haynes, J. L. M. French, Jr., William A. 
Harris, Joseph Milburn, Joseph P. Milburn, Thomas R. West, 
Thomas P. Rutherford, John Forrester, Samuel W. Hyden, 
Edward J. Dawn, John Rudd, Thomas A. Cass, Thomas S. 
Walker, Jacob R. Payne, Jacob Smith, W. P. Cooper. 

Readmitted : Samuel A. Miller, Moses H. Spencer. 

Located: George W. K. Green, Gustavus W. Wells, J. R. 
Stradley, George W. Renfro, William H. Cooper, Thomas J. 
Pope, Hezekiah West, J. P. Gibson, G. McDaniel, Andrew C. 
Hunter, L. C. Waters, Crockett Godbey. 

Discontinued : Philip L. Chambers, A. R. Wilson. 

Superannuated: E. F. Sevier, J. W. Belt, S. B. Harwell, 
A. F. English, John Spears, Thomas K. Munsey, R. W- 
Patty, James Cumming, D. B. Carter, T. Sullins, Wyley B. 
Winton, Conaro D. Smith, John Alley, J. N. S. Huffaker, David 
Fleming, R. M. Stevens. 

Died : William K. Foster. 

Numbers in society: White, 48,480; colored, 4,104; Indian, 
372. Total, 52,956. Increase, 729. 

Local preachers, 373 ; traveling preachers, 152. 

Collected for superannuates, etc., $20,702.10; for missions, 
Sunday schools, and tract societies, $1,240. 

The above figures, taken from the General Minutes, 
show a decrease in the number of local preachers of 
fifty-two. These figures are evidently fictitious, grow- 
ing, no doubt, out of imperfect reports. Such a sud- 
den falling off did not occur. The figures of the col- 
lection for superannuates, etc., above represent all that 
had been collected both on the superannuate fund and 
for salaries. The whole claim was $37,029. Thus of 
the allowed claims, which were not extravagant, not 
quite fifty-six per cent was paid. 


Thomas J. Pope was a large man of fine intellect, 
but lacking in ambition and energy. He had fine lit- 
erary taste, and was a somewhat extensive reader of 
history and light literature. He was not fond of se- 
vere studies. He was addicted to despondency, and 
underrated himself. Appointed one year to Jonesboro 
Station, he went to the town, stayed a day or two, and 
then unceremoniously left, feeling that he was not 
equal to the situation and. that he would not be accepta- 
ble to the people. At the next Conference some objec- 
tion was made to the passage of his character on the 
ground of his having left his work without permission ; 
but his friends argued that he should not be punished 
for so rare a fault as excessive modesty, and his char- 
acter passed. Pope spent his last years in Texas, and 
in a fit of melancholy ended his own life. 

Hezekiah West was born in Haywood County, N. C. 
He was a man of moderate talent and consistent life. 

Lemuel C. Waters was a short, heavy-set man, of 
good nature and good parts. A modest man, he did 
not aspire to the highest positions, but was said to be a 
preacher of a good deal of force. 

George W. K. Green traveled many years, and did 
faithful work. He was near-sighted and wore spec- 
tacles. He owned property in Bland County, Va., 
and died there. 

William H. Cooper was a large, portly man of mod- 
erate talent and limited education, but was a diligent 
pastor and a man of integrity of character. 

Crockett Godbey joined the Conference in 1845. He 
was born in Virginia May 23, 1818. He did regular 
work in Holston up to the Civil War. He served as 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 269 

chaplain in the Confederate army; and at the close of 
the war refugeed in Alabama, where he served some 
time as a supply on circuits, and in 1873 he joined the 
Alabama Conference. After several years of faithful 
work, he was superannuated. He was an "Israelite 
indeed, in whom there was no guile." Those who 
knew him knew where to find him on all moral ques- 
tions. He died at his home, in Madison County, Ala., 
September 20, 1901, in the eighty- fourth year of his 
age, leaving a wife and two sons. 

Mr. Godbey and Miss Eva M. Forgey were mar- 
ried by the Rev. Grinsfield Taylor October 28, 1856, 
and their home was blessed with five children — four 
sons and one daughter. One of the sons,. Albert Sid- 
ney, died in 1897. The writer of his obituary notice 
says: "A more guileless, unassuming, humble, faith- 
ful, willing servant of the Church I have not known." 
The daughter became the wife of the Rev. D. W. 
Ward, of the North Alabama Conference, and entered 
heaven in 1906. One son, E. W. Godbey, is a success- 
ful and prosperous lawyer in Decatur, Ala. ; and 
Charles Crockett is a useful member of the North 
Alabama Conference. 

Mrs. Godbey is now (1909) living at Kelso, Tenn. 
She is half sister to Mr. J. R. Forgey, of Morristown, 
Tenn., and first cousin to Mrs. H. P. Senter, widow 
of ex-Governor Senter, of Hamblen County, Tenn. I 
knew Mr. Godbey personally and favorably. He was 
tall and portly, with prominent features, a benevolent 
face, and a benevolent disposition. He had only a 
common school education, and was solid rather than 
brilliant. Yet there were in him considerable possi- 


bilities. I attended one of his camp meetings in 
the fifties, and assisted. There being a scarcity of 
preachers, it became necessary that he should preach 
himself one important night, which, owing to his con- 
stitutional modesty, he was disinclined to do; but the 
other preachers pressed him into the pulpit. The ser- 
mon which he preached on that occasion was one of the 
few really great sermons I have heard in a lifetime. 
His text was 1 Peter i. 11 : "Searching what, or what 
manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in 
them did signify, when it testified beforehand the suf- 
ferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." 
The argument was good, and the speaker was won- 
derfully fluent and powerful. He spake as if he were 
inspired, and he certainly was. The large audience 
listened with wonder and delight and with great spir- 
itual benefit. The minds of the people were stirred to 
their depths, and a great revival scene followed. I 
have not exaggerated. 

Andrew C. Hunter was born at Alexander, N. C, 
August 25, 1820; and lived there till the year 1833, 
when the family removed to Georgetown, Meigs Coun- 
ty, Tenn. He hauled the first load of goods that was 
ever hauled to Cleveland, Tenn. His people were Bap- 
tists, but he was converted at a Methodist meeting 
and joined the Methodist Church. He was admitted 
into the Conference at Athens in 1845. 

His educational opportunities were very limited, em- 
bracing about two .years of common school education. 
While quite a boy he was employed as a clerk in a 
store. According to the custom of the times, the pro- 
prietor sold whisky — wet goods along with dry goods 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND 1 86 1. 27 1 

— and Andrew, believing it to be wrong, declined to 
wait on the drinking customers. The proprietor cursed 
him and told him that he was like the Indian's tree — 
so straight that he leaned. Fortunately for him, he 
soon secured a situation where he could work and yet 
attend school. He did this for about a year, when he 
took charge of a little country school, in which he suc- 
ceeded in teaching by studying ahead of the classe.s. 
At one time he worked upon an arithmetical problem 
for several days without success. The night before 
the class were to have the problem he worked till 2 
a.m., gave up in despair, and fell asleep. In an hour he 
awoke from a dream in which he had solved the prob- 

After the war he was persuaded by the Rev. F. M. 
Fanning that the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
would be absorbed by the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
so he transferred his membership to the latter. But 
in a few years a. pastor of that Church came to Duck- 
town, where Mr. Hunter was living, who advocated 
and practiced social equality with the negroes, where- 
upon Mr. Hunter returned to the Southern Church, 
which really was the Church of his choice. 

He farmed and merchandised at Ducktown till 1873, 
when he failed in business. His friends advised him to 
take the benefit of the bankrupt law; but he said that 
he would pay on his debts what he could, and that his 
boys would pay the rest. He made the last payment, 
principal and interest, in 1880. After his failure he 
engaged in burning charcoal for the copper mines. 
During these dark days his children were often scanti- 
ly clad; but there was never a day when the Church 


papers were not on his table, and those papers and the 
visits of the preachers had much to do in making his 
family what it became. 

Though himself comparatively uneducated, he was 
in advance of his times, advocating the establishment 
of Church schools in the sparsely settled districts of 
our country — a policy which our Church, however, has 
neglected, and which the Northern Presbyterians and 
the Congregationalists have taken up with so much ad- 
vantage. He once wrote an article for an Asheville 
paper advocating the building of a railroad in the 
French Broad Valley, and he heard gentlemen discus- 
sing the article, and they wondered what fool had 
written it ! 

Mr. Hunter was always popular as a man and quite 
useful as a preacher and pastor, but he was never re- 
garded as an able preacher. His strong faith in God, 
great sympathy for the perishing, and constant effort 
to do good made him a very useful and lovable man. 
When he was on the Asheville Circuit, in 1849-50, he 
visited much and generally prayed in the families. 
One rude man refused to let him pray in his house, 
whereupon Mr. Hunter, clinching his fist and shaking 
it in his face, said: "I will tell my Heavenly Father 
about that!" The remark fastened conviction on the 
man and eventually led him to Christ. 

His first appointment (1845) was that of junior 
under F. M. Fanning on the Jonesboro Circuit. When 
he went to Jonesboro to preach, he found the house 
•filled with people anxious to meet the new preacher. 
His heart sank within him, for he felt that he could 
not preach to a town congregation. W. G. Brownlow 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 273 

was present, and the young divine requested him to 
preach, but he replied: "If I were to get up to preach, 
half the people would leave." He then requested the 
class leader to hold a class meeting in lieu of preach- 
ing, but he replied : "I do not believe in the class, and 
the class does not believe in me. If there is anything 
done here to-day, you will have to do it." He then 
arose, and after preliminaries took his text. He told 
the people that he could not preach, but that he could 
tell his experience, which he proceeded to do. He 
had not talked long till some of the good sisters began 
to shout. A lively glow of feeling passed over the 
entire congregation, and he was the hero of the occa- 

While on this circuit he went to see a shoemaker 
who never attended divine service nor allowed his wife 
to do so. He requested him to attend a meeting he 
was then conducting in his neighborhood. He an- 
swered that the people of that country were the worst 
hypocrites out of hell. Mr. Hunter replied that he 
had better be converted or God would bind him in a 
bundle with these hypocrites to be with them in hell 
forever. Mr. Hunter remained for supper, but was 
not invited to ask the blessing at the table. After sup- 
per he proposed to pray with the family, but the man 
refused. He then asked to be allowed to make a short 
prayer standing, to which request consent was given; 
and while he was praying, the woman wept. The next 
day the man came to the meeting and was the first at 
the altar. After his conversion he attributed his con- 
viction to the suggestion of his being bound in a bun- 
dle with hypocrites. Last year (1908) a granddaugh- 


ter of this man sent from Guthrie, Okla., to Oklahoma 
City for Mr. Hunter, and took him to her home for 
several days as an expression of her gratitude for his 
instrumentality in feading her grandfather to the Lord. 

One of Mr. Hunter's brothers once left home, and 
no tidings were received of him for some time. Mr. 
Hunter proposed to his mother that they pray once a 
day for the absent boy. A year later, no tidings hav- 
ing been received of him, he then proposed that they 
pray twice a day. While praying at one of these stat- 
ed times, about the middle of the second year, he ex- 
perienced a peculiar sense of peace. He met his presid- 
ing elder soon after this, and told him that he was 
sure that his brother was either dead or converted, and 
gave his experience in prayer as his reason for this 
belief. In a few weeks a letter came from the absent 
brother declaring that he had been converted, and the 
date of the conversion corresponded with the date of 
the experience. 

In 1888 Mr. Hunter had an unconverted son in Col- 
orado who had been there six years. One morning 
at family devotion he requested the family to pray for 
the conversion of this boy. On the Sunday after that 
he said to his son James R. that Will had been con- 
verted or would be soon, as he had received an impres- 
sion from the Spirit to that effect. In a few days he 
received a letter from Will declaring his conversion at 
the very hour in which his father had received the an- 
swer of peace. 

In 1899 a railway was being constructed through 
Mr. Hunter's farm near Ducktown. The contractor 
located his camp only a few hundred yards from the 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 275 

house, and advised him to lock up everything, saying 
that the negroes had stolen everything they could get 
their hands on from Marietta, Ga., to that point. But 
Mr. Hunter did not get locks. On the day of the ar- 
rival of the negroes he happened to be sitting near 
where they were dancing and capering, and tears were 
seen coursing down his cheeks as he remarked : "Christ 
died for them, and no one has ever told them of it!" 
That evening he went to the camp and asked them to 
let him preach to them. They cheerfully consented, 
and during the months of their stay he held several 
services a week for them. Mrs. Hunter sold them 
such things as she had to spare and as they wanted, 
for cash or credit. Her sales for milk, eggs, and vege- 
tables, etc., amounted to about $100, and she did not 
lose a cent in bad debts. A strange negro came one 
night, took a rail from one of the fences and cut it 
up for fire wood. Learning of the trespass, the ne- 
groes compelled him to make another rail and put it 
in the vacancy before he went to bed. The contractor, 
who was a Catholic, said that he had never seen any- 
thing of the kind before, and that he had not seen any 
such influence in any one in his Church or out of it. 
All this shows that godliness is profitable unto all 
things, that if we had more prayers we should need 
fewer prisons and if we had more love we should need 
fewer locks. Mr. Hunter used tobacco from young 
manhood until he was about seventy-five years old. 
One night, while reviewing his past life, he thought of 
his tobacco habit as being filthy. He felt that he 
would like to be clean the rest of his days, so he 
prayed earnestly for strength to abandon the habit, 


and went to sleep confident that he would not crave to- 
bacco any more. Next morning he threw his cuspidor 
over the fence, and from that day to the present (1909) 
he has not tasted tobacco, neither has he desired it. 

While I am writing (1910) Mr. Hunter is living 
with his children in Oklahoma City, nearly eighty-nine 
years old, is quite feeble, and will evidently soon join 
in spirit land the thousands whom he has led to Christ. 

John Ryland Stradley was born in the city of Lon- 
don June 15, 1825, and he was three years old when his 
father removed to America. He was such a cheerful 
child that he was known on the voyage as Happy Jack. 
He was a son of Thomas Stradley, and his mother 
was a Dibrell. His father was a Baptist minister and 
was many years pastor of the Baptist Church in Ashe- 
ville, N. C. I believe that he was the founder of that 
Church. He reared his family in Asheville and its vi- 
cinity. John R. was reared in the Baptist faith and 
was at first a member of the Baptist Church, but seems 
not to have enjoyed the life and power of religion. 
While practicing medicine in Yancey County, N. C, 
he attended the ministry of the Rev. David Sullins. 
This was in the year 1850-51, and during the year he 
was powerfully converted. The following year I was 
in charge of the Burnsville Circuit, and received him 
into the Methodist Church. 

While holding a camp meeting at Rock Creek Camp 
Ground in the fall of 1852, I was short of preachers, 
and I requested Dr. Stradley, though only a layman, 
to preach; and he preached two useful sermons. He 
was afterwards licensed to preach, and joined the Hol- 
ston Conference in 1856. He located in 1861, but aft- 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND 1 86 1. 2/ 7 

erwards returned to the Conference. At the begin- 
ning of the Civil War his family located at Madison- 
ville, Tenn. In the process of time he purchased a 
farm in the immediate vicinity of Hiwassee College, 
where he spent a considerable part of his life and 
where he educated his children. There also he died. 

He was married to Harriet Newell Wilson, of Bald 
Creek, Yancey County, N. C, in 1852. She was a 
daughter of Samuel Wilson and Emily Whittington, 
and she was educated at Burnsville Academy. She 
had great beauty of person, and was possessed of su- 
perior talents and a well-balanced character. She was 
gifted in prayer and persuasion. She bore the hard- 
ships incident to the itinerancy, as also those incident 
to the Civil War, with the patience and cheerfulness 
of a true Christian. Wide was her spiritual vision and 
great was her enthusiasm for the evangelization of 
the world. She was made a life member of the Mis- 
sionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, at Greeneville, Tenn., in 1859. She died tri- 
umphantly at her home, at Hiwassee College, Decem- 
ber 4, 1883. 

Dr. Stradley, having seen service, in the Mexican 
War, was elected captain of a company in the Con- 
federate army. He was in the siege of Vicksburg 
and saw service in the Valley of Virginia, performing 
the duties of surgeon a portion of the time. After the 
war he returned to the Conference and took work. 
For some years he was supernumerary, and devoted 
himself to farming, but preached almost every Sun- 
day while his strength lasted. He was a man of pub- 
lic spirit, and was often called to public duties, among 


which were the county superintendency of schools 
and the presidency of the board of trustees of Hiwas- 
see College. 

Dr. Stradley had a high school education, and was a 
great lover of books. He was the soul of honor. By 
nature rugged and combative, he became in his last 
years ripe and sweet, like the fruits he so much loved 
to grow about him; and he dropped the full harvest 
of seventy-nine summers into his Master's hand, and 
went home through the cold blasts of January 15, 1905. 

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Stradley were eight children, 
of whom two, William Bascom and Charles L., were 
members of the Holston Conference. Bascom became 
a strong preacher, received votes for the bishopric, 
and was at one time pastor of Trinity Church, in At- 
lanta, one of the most responsible charges in the con- 
nection. Misses Lily and Jennie Stradley are mission- 
aries in Brazil. 

After the death of his first wife, Dr. Stradley mar- 
ired Miss Harriet E. Porter, of Asheville, N. C, who 
survives him. 

Dr. Stradley had considerable gifts as a preacher, 
and had his whole life been devoted to preaching and 
pastoral wOrk, he might have ranked high as a pulpit 
man. About the year 1857 he held a protracted meet- 
ing in the town of Greeneville. I heard him once or 
twice during that meeting, and I was amazed at the 
readiness and power with which he spoke. 

Francis Farley, Sr., was born in Giles County, Va., 
in 1787. He was a grandson of Francis Munsey. He 
removed to Lee County, Va., in 1808, soon after mar- 
riage. About 1809 James Axley rode up to him while 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND lS6l. 279 

he was at work in a clearing and requested him to ac- 
company him to preaching. Circuit preaching was at 
that time a new thing in that community. Mr. Farley 
and wife accompanied him to his appointment. At 
the close of the sermon the door of the Church was 
opened, and enough joined to form a class. Mr. Far- 
ley was among the accessions, and he was the only 
male member of the class. He was appointed class 
leader, but objected because he was unconverted. The 
preacher overruled his objection, and advised him to 
seek religion and in the meantime to watch over the 
flock. The preacher appointed a class meeting for the 
following Sabbath and announced that Mr. Farley 
would hold it. When the day arrived the house was 
crowded. Before the meeting was opened Mr. Far- 
ley retired to pray for divine aid, when the tempter 
suggested to him that he ought to slip home and never 
be caught in such a predicament again, but he success- 
fully resisted the tempter and held the meeting. It 
was a triumph. Several good women shouted the 
praises of God. Soon after that he was praying in 
his field when he felt the warming influence Of the 
Holy Spirit in his heart, and he believed to his dying 
day that then and there he was born again. He was 
.licensed to exhort by John Tevis about the year 18 18. 
He returned to Giles County in 1824. He was li- 
censed to preach under Samuel Patton. He was or- 
dained deacon by Bishop Capers in 1846. He died 
June 10, 1862. In his last moments he said : "Only as 
the grace of God has enabled me to triumph over my 
spiritual enemies can I retrospect my past life with 


consolation. My trust has been in Jesus, and it is Je- 
sus that gives me consolation in my dying hour." 

Francis A. Farley, son of Francis Farley, Sr., was 
a traveling preacher in the Holston Conference for 
many years. 

It is not my purpose to write a political history of 
the country, but the political events which occurred be- 
tween 1 86 1 and 1865, inclusive, had such a bearing on 
Methodism in Holston that much of our ecclesiastical 
history can be explained only by a knowledge of those 

On the 9th of February, 1861, the people of Tennes- 
see voted for delegates to a convention to be held on 
the 25th of the same month to consider the then ex- 
isting relations between the government of the United 
States and the government of the people of the State 
of Tennessee, and to adopt such measures for vindi- 
cating the sovereignty of the State and the protection 
of its institutions as should appear to them to be de- 
manded. Together with the election of delegates the 
question of convention or no convention was sub- 
mitted to the people. The majority for Union dele- 
gates in the State was 64,114/ and against calling a 
convention 11,877. This election was held before the 
proclamation of President Lincoln calling for troops 
to subjugate the seceded States had been issued. Aft- 
er the issuance of this proclamation the question of 
separation or no separation was submitted to a vote 
of the people on the 8th day of June, 1861. The vote 
in the several divisions of the State was as follows : 

1 Temple's "East Tennessee and the Civil War," p. 176. 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 281 

For No 

Separation. Separation. 

East Tennessee 14,780 32,923 

Middle Tennessee 58,265 8,198 

West Tennessee 29,127 6,117 

Military camps : 2,741 

104,913 47,238 


Majority for separation 57,675 

The convention called under this election assembled 
May 6, 1861, and immediately passed an ordinance of 
secession. The firing upon Fort Sumter produced tm- 
mense excitement in the Northern States. The call 
for troops by President Lincoln to coerce "the way- 
ward sisters" produced an equal excitement in the 
South and caused the State of Tennessee to change its 
vote from a majority of 64,114 for union in February 
to a majority of 57,675 for secession in June. 

Two days after Mr. Lincoln's proclamation, the 
convention of Virginia passed an ordinance of seces- 
sion. Before the proclamation the people of North 
Carolina gave a majority of 651 against calling a con- 
vention. After the proclamation a convention was 
called which on the 20th' day of May, 1861, passed 
ah ordinance of secession with great unanimity. 

The fact that East Tennessee voted two to one for 
union was due largely to the arguments, eloquence, ac- 
tivity and personal influence of Nathaniel G. Taylor, 
James W. Deaderick, John Netherland, John Baxter, 
Connally F. Trigg, W. G. Brownlow, Oliver P. Tem- 
ple, Thomas A. R. Nelson, John Fleming, Horace 
Maynard, Andrew Johnson, and others — a grand 


array of talent and character. Mr. Temple seems to 
have been the principal manager of the campaign 
against secession. Appointments for speaking were 
made in all parts of East Tennessee, especially Upper 
and Middle East Tennessee, and large crowds assem- 
bled and listened to earnest harangues against the pol- 
icy of secession. This agitation, including the pow- 
erful diatribes of Brownlow's Knoxville Whig, placed 
East Tennessee in the Union column two to one, 
brought about the result given in the above figures, 
created a permanent disaffection to the Southern cause 
in the heart of the Confederacy, and sent thousands of 
brave men from the hills of East Tennessee into the 
Union army. The fact has already been stated that 
the First Congressional District of Tennessee gave 
more men to the Union army than any other congres- 
sional district in the nation. 

A convention of Unionists met in Greeneville June 
17 to protest against what was termed the hasty ac- 
tion of the Legislature in passing the ordinance of se- 
cession. The convention was largely attended. Its 
leaders were men of talent and influence. A commit- 
tee-was appointed to memorialize the General Assem- 
bly for the organization of a new State, to be composed 
of the counties of East Tennessee and such counties 
in Middle Tennessee as might elect to go with the new 
State. The memorial was prepared and laid before 
the Legislature, which denied the prayer. 

It may be taken for granted that at this time the 
Union people of East Tennessee were having a hard 
time of it. War at its best estate is a barbarous thing. 
It deserves the name which General Sherman gave it 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 283 

— "hell." Active Unionists were in constant danger of 
arrest by the authorities, and there were not wanting 
men bad enough to give them unnecessary annoyance. 
Persecution even for opinion's sake was not uncom- 
mon. The better class of people on both sides did 
what they could to preserve quiet and harmony in the 
various communities, but such was the excitement of 
the times that the worst element of society came to the 
surface and gave direction to the course of events. 
Frequent appeals from the Union people in East Ten- 
nessee reached Washington, asking for protection. 
Many longed and prayed for the coming of the Union 
army. Accordingly the military authorities resolved 
to march an army into East Tennessee. 

Simultaneously with the advent of this force the 
railroad bridges of the section were to be destroyed. 
A Mr. W. B, Carter was chosen to superintend the 
burning of the bridges. One citizen was chosen by 
him for each bridge, and he selected his own assist- 
ants. General Thomas had charge of the military ex- 
pedition. The night of November 8, 1861, was select- 
ed as the time for the simultaneous destruction of the 
bridges. Carter carried out his part of the program ; 
but when General Thomas reached London, Ky., he re- 
ceived orders from General Sherman to retrace his 
steps. It was too late to inform Mr. Carter of the 
change in the program, hence his agents carried out 
their parts with more or less success. Nine important 
bridges were to be destroyed ; five of the nine were de- 
stroyed. They were the bridges at Union Depot (now 
Bluff City) ; Lick Creek, in Greene County; Charles- 
ton, over the Hiwassee River ; and two on the Western 


and Atlantic Road over Chickamauga Creek. The 
other bridges, being, well guarded, escaped. The per- 
petrators expected to be protected by the incoming 
Federal army, but, alas ! they were left to take care of 
themselves. The burning of the bridges created gen- 
eral alarm among the Southern people in East Tennes- 
see, awakened exaggerated apprehensions in the au- 
thorities at Richmond, and led to the arrest, trial by 
court-martial, and the hanging of five men. Being cit- 
izens, they could not plead the rights of prisoners of 
war. Harrison Self was pardoned by President Davis 
on the petition of his (Self's) lovely daughter. I am 
sorry now that he did not pardon the others, or at least 
commute their punishment to imprisonment during the 
war. Captain Fry was sentenced to be hanged; but 
on the remonstrance of Gen. S. P. Carter, of the Fed- 
eral army, who claimed that Fry was a soldier and 
was acting under orders, the sentence was not car- 
ried out. It was at first believed, but probably incor- 
rectly, that the burning of the bridges was to be the 
signal of a general uprising of the Union people in 
East Tennessee. Orders from Secretary of War Ben- 
jamin for the rigorous prosecution of the bridge burn- 
ers and for the imprisonment of all others who had 
had any guilty connection with the affair did cause 
uprisings in a few places, but they soon subsided. 
This state of affairs caused a great flight of Union 
men into Kentucky and the Northern States. A large 
per cent of these entered the Union army. 

The above recital will aid the reader in understand- 
ing the state of affairs in East Tennessee which led to 
such disastrous results to the Methodism of the sec- 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 285 

tion. The worst passions Of human nature were 
stirred and a bitterness engendered that has not yet 
passed away. Many of the citizens who were arrest- 
ed and imprisoned were members of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South. They were sent to North- 
ern or Southern prisons, according as they differed 
in sentiment and sympathy. The Churches to which 
they belonged were divided and disrupted, regular 
preaching measurably ceased, and numbers of preach- 
ers and people had to refugee to save their lives. The 
enforcement of the conscript act caused thousands to 
leave East Tennessee for Kentucky and the Northern 
States, only to swell the Federal armies. It has been 
estimated that East Tennessee contributed in all thirty 
or thirty-five thousand men to the Union army. These 
facts, together with the blunders of our Conference 
committed at the 'sessions of 1862, 1863, and 1864, 
to say nothing of the demoralization which civil war 
always occasions, are sufficient to account for the 
wrecked and dilapidated condition Of Southern Meth- 
odism in East Tennessee at the close of the war. 

General Burnside's troops entered Knoxville Sep- 
tember 1, 1863. The siege of Knoxville by General 
Longstreet began in November. ■ Longstreet intended 
to starve Burnside into surrender; but after the bat- 
tle of Missionary Ridge, learning that General Sher- 
man had been dispatched to the relief of Burnside, he 
made, November 29, an unsuccessful and disastrous as- 
sault on Burnside's works, which by this time had been 
considerably strengthened. 

The destruction of the five bridges did but little harm 
to the Confederacy, but resulted in incalculable injury 


to the Union people. The next few months were the 
noche triste in their history. The bridge-burning was 
followed by those repressive acts of the military au- 
thorities which made the sufferings of the Union peo- 
ple of East Tennessee known throughout the land. 
Hundreds of leading Union citizens were arrested and 
sent to prison, and others were in constant fear. 1 

The policy of arresting and imprisoning peaceable 
citizens was pursued by both sides.. Union people 
were not the only persons who suffered by this policy. 
Hundreds of peaceable citizens of Southern sympa- 
thies were during the war seized and spirited away to 
Northern prisons, to languish for weeks and months, 
and, in some cases, to die. 

Longstreet spent the winter in Upper East Ten- 
nessee, holding down the country within twenty-five 
miles of Knoxville, and feeding his men on supplies 
furnished by the people. The two armies amused 
themselves during the winter by desultory skirmishes, 
with now and then a battle. In the spring the Federals 
removed southwest to Dalton, Ga. ; and Longstreet 
moved east to take part in the wonderful campaigns of 
Grant and Lee. The forages of the army, together 
with a deficiency of laborers and the demoralized busi- 
ness of the country, reduced many of the people of 
Upper East Tennessee almost to a state of starvation ; 
and many of them went to Knoxville, where they were 
fed by supplies from liberal people in the North. The 
Federals in the meanwhile had undisputed possession 
of Lower East Tennessee, and eternity alone will re- 

1 Judge O. P. Temple's "East Tennessee and the Civil War," 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 287 

veal the sufferings through which the families that 
sympathized with the Confederacy passed during that 
period of the war. It was to them a reign of terror. 
Leading men were arrested and taken to Northern 
prisons, while hundreds of others preserved their lib- 
erty only by fleeing to other States. Bushwhacking 
and brigandage ran riot, especially in communities not 
immediately protected by the army, which itself, while 
a protection, was also an oppression. 

I have perhaps dwelt too long on the military situa- 
tion in East Tennessee, but by this situation the South- 
ern Methodist Church of the section was torn to 
pieces. The withdrawal of Longstreet from Upper 
East Tennessee exposed the Southern people to in- 
sults and persecutions by the Union element, and many 
prominent men found it convenient to refugee in North 
Carolina, Virginia, and the far South. The situation 
was reversed, and the Southern people were now com- 
pelled to sup the sorrows which their Union neighbors 
had suffered before. Union families were largely in 
the majority, consisting in part of some of the best 
people as to property, intelligence, and virtue, but 
largely of the poor and illiterate ; and I think that I can 
truthfully say that they furnished the larger proportion 
of the bushwhackers and robbers that infested portions 
of East Tennessee then and later. After the with- 
drawal of the armies the situation of Southern men of 
property and influence was quite uncomfortable. 

I have not space for a detailed account of the mu- 
tual wrongs inflicted by the Union and Southern sym- 
pathizers of the section. But a history of the murder 
of Captain Waugh and its consequences furnishes a 


pretty fair sample of the most violent of these wrongs. 
Of all the bloody episodes of the, not one is more 
replete with tragedies than the story of Bill Parker, 
the Tennessee outlaw, as told by a reputable newspa- 

A Captain Waugh was an officer in the enrolling bureaus 
of the Confederacy. In the discharge of his official duties it 
frequently became necessary for him to cause the arrest and 
imprisonment, or the sending to the front for soldier duty, of 
men who were his old personal friends and neighbors, bitterly 
opposed to the war and more bitterly opposed to the Confed- 
eracy. Among other arrests made by men acting under his 
authority in 1862 and 1863 was that of an old friend and com- 
rade, La Fayette Jones, a young man of many excellent parts. 
He was a newspaper man of talent; genial, clever, and en- 
gaging in manner. He and Waugh were intimate friends, 
and were members of the same secret society. When Jones 
was captured, he had on his person some greenback currency, 
an army pistol, a number of letters, and other papers showing 
that he was not only a sympathizer with the Federal govern- 
ment, if not in its secret service, but that he was carrying into 
the Confederacy contraband matter. Jones asserted that he 
was a Federal officer or in the Federal service openly, and 
that he should be treated as a prisoner of war at worst. Ke 
was therefore sent to Richmond, Va., and placed in confine- 
ment in Castle Thunder. When Jones was being dispossessed 
of the contraband articles, he begged that he might retain his 
greenbacks, which he said he had earned honestly; and he 
told Captain Waugh that if he persisted in taking the money 
he would hold him personally responsible for what he consid- 
ered an individual robbery, and said that if he ever secured his 
liberty he would travel a thousand miles to take the officer's 
life in revenge. Captain Waugh explained to the prisoner 
that the dispossessing of him was not his personal act, but 
that it was in obedience to Confederate law. Jones claimed a 
special exemption at the hands of his old friend. Failing to 
Secure the favor, which it was not in the lawful power of that 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 289 

friend to grant, Jones's parting threat was that he intended to 
escape from confinement, and that he would never rest until 
he had returned to Tennessee and killed Waugh. Captain 
Waugh was a fearless man, and he paid little or no attention 
to the threats made against him. 

One night, some weeks after La Fayette Jones had been 
sent to Richmond, Captain Waugh was at home and in the act 
of retiring when a noise was heard outside. Mrs. Waugh 
remarked that she believed "the robbers" were coming; for 
the whole country was infested with roving bands of outlaws, 
who made a business of plundering friend and foe alike. 
Suddenly the sound of a gun, fired through an opening in the 
bedchamber, stunned the inmates of the room. Captain Waugh 
instantly fell forward, saying: "I am killed." He was dead in 
an instant, with a bullet in his heart. The next moment the 
door was burst open, and La Fayette Jones, at the head of 
twenty or thirty men, some of them in blue army clothing, 
entered the room, uttering shouts and curses. Jones rushed 
to the bedside, saw that his victim was already dead, and 
yelled triumphantly : "I told him that I would kill him, and I 
have done it !" 

In Jones's party were some blood kindred of Mrs. Waugh. 
In fiendish glee they proceeded to ransack and rob the house 
and adjacent store. The next that was heard from the leaders 
was that they were within the Federal lines, beyond the reach 
of Waugh's friends. The murder of the enrolling officer and 
the robbery of his family by men wearing the Federal uniform 
aroused the most intense feeling among the Southern sympa- 
thizers in the country. Even Union people deplored the event, 
for they knew that it would doubtless lead to retaliation upon 
some of them. Captain Waugh was well and widely known. 
He was a Pennsylvanian, a member of an old and wealthy 
family of that State. His wife was from a prominent family 
in Tennessee. The dead man was carried for burial into 
North Carolina, followed by an immense concourse of people, 
more than a hundred armed troops accompanying them. The 
death of Captain Waugh was the beginning of a long history 
of assassinations in that country. There had been several 


murders of citizens in that section — citizens of all ages and 
representing both Union and Confederate sentiment — but no 
death had been attended with circumstances of such cold- 
blooded atrocity. It was followed by a most terrible train of 

Living with Captain Waugh at the time of the murder was 
a young man named Parker. The young man swore that he 
would never rest until he had killed ten of the leading Union 
men of the section in retaliation for the murder of his friend 
and benefactor. He became crazed, infuriated with a thirst 
for the blood of his late employer's political foes. He made no 
secret of his purpose to kill, and his threat spread far and wide. 
A few days after the tragedy several of the best citizens of 
Union sympathies in the county were found dead, shot down 
in the highway, in the field, in the workshop — wherever Bill 
Parker could find them. Murder after murder followed, 
Parker leaving information in the various neighborhoods 
through which he swiftly went that it was now Parker's time 
for killing. No one knew when or where he was going, and 
he had his secret hiding places where he could not be trapped 
or caught. One of the victims was a blood cousin of Captain 
Waugh's widow, an innocent man shot down as he fled from 
the assassin in his fields. But he was a strong Union man, 
and that was enough for Parker to know. He hunted for 
Union men. He had given notice, when he could do so with 
impunity, that he was going to have his ten men, but that he 
would pick them as it suited his purpose, and that he 
would take his own time for the work. He defied arrest. 
He sent word to his friends that he knew he would have to 
meet his fate soon, but that he would not be stopped in his 
career by either friend or foe until the ten he had selected had 
fallen. No one save himself knew whom he had condemned. 
No one save a few of his own mother's household knew where 
he made his hiding places. Armed squads of men could not 
find him. The Southern people had become alarmed. The 
assassin seemed endowed with wings, so swiftly and unex- 
pectedly he went from place to place. He was here to-day; 
and to-morrow, while he was being hunted by armed bodies 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND 1 86 1. 29 1 

of men, he would kill another victim twenty miles away. Public 
feeling at last rose to such a pitch that it was determined 
that Parker should be hunted down and killed, cost what it 
might. He was outlawed. A thousand vows were registered 
that Bill Parker must be found and put out of existence. 

After a long and fruitless "search, an expedition in search 

of the outlaw came upon him somewhat unexpectedly. He 

saw that he was outnumbered and would be overpowered, 

and he fled. He had not yet killed ten men, though lacking 

only one or two of the number. He was on horseback. It 

was a race for life. Death stared in the face both pursued and 

pursuers. Mile after mile in the open highway the flight was 

kept up. Parker was doubtless intent on saving his fire for 

close quarters. The pursuers discharged their guns as best 

they could. Finally some of the party got within good range 

and fired. The outlaw's horse fell, but the rider was seen to 

enter a thicket near by. Examination of the surroundings 

showed that the outlaw must have been hit as well as "his 

horse; for there was a plain, bloody trail that led from the 

horse into the woods into which the man had been seen to 

run. This trail was followed by the armed men away into 

the high and rugged mountain range near by — a wilderness 

unbroken for more than ten miles in one direction and for 

about four in the other across the range. Search was continued 

day after day with the utmost caution, but Parker could not 

be found. Weeks and months rolled around, and still no 

tidings of the outlaw. There was, however, one consolation : 

the assassinations had ceased. There was general rejoicing, 

though the mystery which hung over the disappearance of the 

outlaw added a painful suspense to the lull in the storm, for 

the security might be only temporary. It was possible that 

the man was recovering slowly from his wound and he might 

yet return. The war ended, and a year passed, but still there 

was no tidings of the outlaw. The mountain had been time 

and again searched in vain for his hiding place or for his 

dead body. An unfathomable mystery hung about his fate. 

One day in 1866 or 1867 a party of hunters were going 

through a little skirt of woods bordering a plantation in the 


settlements about four miles directly across the mountain from 
where Parker's horse had been killed. They suddenly came 
upon a pile of human bones, with remnants of clothing near 
by. Lying by the side of the skeleton was a pair of army 
saddlebags. These contained two pistols and some other 
effects, which were instantly identified as Parker's. The high 
skull bone had the unerring mark of the famous young out- 
law. There remained yet the evidence of the fatal shot that 
had been fired at the fugitive years before, for a bone in one 
of his legs had been broken by it. In that condition, carrying 
his effects with him, the man had crawled a distance of four 
miles, over one of the most rugged mountains in the State. 
Within sight and within calling distance of the skeleton was 
the residence of a good friend of Parker's. The supposition 
is that the wounded outlaw had endeavored to reach that 
friend's house, but, becoming completely exhausted from loss 
of blood and starvation, he died before gaining the desired 
refuge, though it was in full view of his longing eyes. Day 
after day, while he lay suffering within sight of the South- 
erner's home, Parker's voice was heard in its piteous cries. 
After the skeleton had been found, the mistress of the mansion 
had a distinct recollection of having heard those cries. 

But Parker's remorse, however deep and long it might have 
been, could not have surpassed that of the one who was the 
beginner of the long series of tragedies for which he had made 
himself responsible. La Fayette Jones himself died a raving 
maniac in the most terrible agonies. After the killing of 
Captain Waugh, the assassin entered the Federal army, re- 
maining with it in good record till the disbandment after the 
war. When peace came and there were no longer scenes of 
bloodshed to occupy his thoughts, his mind gave way under 
the memory of the assassination of his old friend and the 
consequences that followed. He had learned that his friend, 
acting under orders of the government that he in honesty was 
endeavoring to serve, should not have been censured, much 
less deprived of his life, for the part taken in the arrest and 
imprisonment of Jones and the appropriation of his property. 
Horrible visions haunted him, and then there came the wild 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND 1 86 1. 2% 

delirium of brain which seizes the insane, and the poor fellow 
died a raving maniac, bound in manacles, in a cell in the 
asylum for the insane in Tennessee. 

Among the victims of Parker's retaliation there were sev- 
eral members of Jones's family — the father and two sons. 
Another brother of Jones, becoming desperate, had joined a 
band of robbers, and he too was killed by a Southern man 
while in the act of robbery in the course of the reign of 
terror in East Tennessee. So four men — all the male mem- 
bers of that household — were wiped out of existence as a 
consequence of the political' troubles in that region. Among 
other victims of Parker's wrath were the father and grown 
son in another household near Captain Waugh's home. Nor 
were these all the tragedies resulting from the Jones and 
Parker murders. The friends of men assassinated, by Parker 
visited swift retaliation upon the family of the outlaw, every 
male member who did not flee the State being hanged or shot 
in revenge. The killing of Captain Waugh led to the violent 
taking away of fifteen or twenty others, Union or Southern 
in sentiment, of both parties. It has been stated that more 
than forty-five men lost their lives in murders and assassina- 
tions in that one county (Johnson) in East Tennessee in the 
course of the war and in retaliation immediately after the 
surrender. The numbers were about equally divided between 
the Secession and Union sympathizers. 

Long after the war closed one of the men engaged in the 
robbery of Captain Waugh's widow and family, one of the 
leaders in the assassination and a Rood relative of Mr. 
Waugh, was killed by a boon companion in a drunken revel. 
Nearly every actor in the tragedy has passed away, the end 
coming with violence or insanity. 

Capt. William Waugh, one of the heroes of the 
above story, was an elder brother of the Rev. Henry 
P. Waugh, who was for a long time a faithful and 
useful member of the Holston Conference, South.. 
The Waugh family were Methodists and Southern in 


Reference was made to the Rev. Oliver Miller and 
wife in Volume III., page 295. He was at the time of 
his death a local preacher of Hawkins County, Tenn. 
From an obituary notice written by the Rev. W. C. 
Graves in 1862 I take the following items: He was 
born (probably in Hawkins County, Tenn.) July 7, 
1802. In early manhood he was converted and joined 
the Methodist Church. He joined the Holston Confer- 
ence in 1827, and located in 1835. He was thrice mar- 
ried. His first wife was Miss Mary Ingram. He had 
a son and daughter by this marriage. The son en- 
tered the Confederate army. Mr. Graves remarked: 
"The son had gone to the field of battle, and it was a 
source of pleasure to Brother Miller to know that he 
had a son in the army to defend his country. Brother 
Miller was a true Southern man — one among the first 
in East Tennessee to take a decided stand for the 

Mr. Miller married Mrs. Frances Owen May 22, 
1845, by whom he had a son and daughter. March 24, 
1852, he married Mrs. Matilda Shelton, a woman of 
superior intellect, culture, and manners. She was a 
daughter of Dr. Wright, of Blount County, Tenn. 

The following notice of the death of Mr. Miller is 
from the pen of Mrs. Miller : 

Mr. Miller died February 3, 1862, at 7 o'clock p.m. He 
died in the full assurance of immortality and eternal life. The 
night before his death he told me that he wanted to be buried 
by the Masons, which request was complied with. He spoke 
of death as the gate of endless joy. He would often in the 
night, when he thought all were asleep, shout the praises of 
God. He was always cheerful, and the most patient person 
I ever saw, always seeming to be more thoughtful of those 

CONFERENCES OF i860 AND l86l. 295 

who waited on him than he was of himself. He frequently 
held family prayers. A few nights before his death a friend 
of ours came in just as Mr. Miller was recovering from a 
very bad spell. Our friend thought that Mr. Miller was dying, 
but I told him that he was recovering from that spell. That 
night »he prayed with the family. He prayed for our friend. 
He was a friend that lay near Mr. Miller's heart. I thought 
I had never heard him in all my life make a more fervent 
prayer. Our friend wept. That night, after the family had 
gone to bed, I was sitting by his bed, when he said to me : 
"My dear, I am going to leave you. Grieve not for me. I 
shall exchange the sorrows of time for the joys of heaven. 
Be faithful, and you will soon come too, and bring the chil- 
dren with you." Mr. Miller was confined to the house twelve 
months and to his bed four months. He had his proper mind 
and recollection, and talked a great deal about the cause of 
God and his country. They lay very near his heart. He 
seemed to be willing to trust the Lord in all things. He had 
his senses to the last moment. After he had lost his speech, 
I asked him if all was well. He bowed his head. 

Nathan Hobbs, who died at his home, two miles 
west of Morristown, Term., in the year 1861, was a 
local preacher of no ordinary ability and influence. 
He was born in Indiana. His first wife was Mary 
Hargis, whom he married in Kentucky, and by whom 
he reared a large family. He removed from Kentucky 
to Virginia, where he lived some years. One of his 
sons, Wiley, was the father of J. N. Hobbs, at pres- 
ent (1911) a superannuate member of the Holston 
Conference. Nathan Hobbs removed from Virginia 
to Tennessee and located on a farm near Morristown. 
There he farmed and merchandised. He was an active 
local preacher, and preached often. He was always in 
demand, for he was an able preacher ; and as the Bap- 
tist controversy was raging when he was in his prime, 


he was often called on to preach on the subject of bap-^ 
tism, and he occasionally met Baptist preachers in pub- 
lic debate. His knowledge of the Scriptures was crit- 
ical and thorough, his logic was vigorous, his style per- 
spicuous, and his delivery dignified and forcible. In- 
deed, he had in him the elements of a great man. 

' His second wife was Ozina King, a woman of ster- 
ling common sense and exalted piety. She survived 
him. The farm which she left to her heirs was not 
large, but was one of the most desirable in East Ten- 

Conferences of 1862 and 1863. 

I now enter upon a very delicate task — an attempt 
to give a fair and impartial account of the proceed- 
ings of the Conference of 1862. In this attempt I 
shall be compelled to say some things with shame and 
regret. The writer was in the army, and therefore not 
present at this session. 

Some Conferences are epochal in their character. 
The Conference of 1788 was the launching Confer- 
ence, the Conference at which the craft of Methodism 
was launched in the Southwest; the Conference of 
1824 was the first session of the Holston Conference 
proper; the Conference of 1845 was the separating 
Conference, the session at which the Conference 
aligned itself with the Southern wing of Methodism; 
the Conference of 1866 was the reorganizing Confer- 
ence, the session at which the fragments of the- Con- 
ference left by the Civil War were gathered together 
and reorganized for work under the new regime estab- 
lished by the transforming General Conference of 
1866. But the Conference of 1862 may be named the 
Conference of political dabbling. That this dabbling 
was done so awkwardly is due to the fact that it was a 
new thing in Southern Methodism. It had not, like 
Northern Methodism, served an apprenticeship at this 
sort of work. Northern Methodism had for a long 
while taken a hand in partisan politics, especially where 
African slavery was involved; and that Church was 



known to be a powerful factor in national politics. 
The Church, South, had prided herself upon her non- 
political attitude. She preached the gospel to master 
and slave alike, leaving the question of domestic slav- 
ery to the civil authorities. By no other policy could 
her existence and usefulness have been maintained in 
the Southern States. A war upon the institution of 
slavery by the Southern Methodist Church could have 
resulted in nothing but the loss of the better class of 
her white membership and in the exclusion of her min- 
isters from access to the slave population. An eccle- 
siastical war on slavery would have been a war on the 
slaves; it would have been a religious calamity to the 
negro wrought in behalf of his supposed political in- 
terests. It therefore became the duty and interest of 
Southern Methodism to steer wide of partisan politics 
of every description. Fortunately, she was able to 
draw the line of demarcation between the purely sec- 
ular and the purely spiritual up to the Civil War. But 
a declaration of war upon the seceding States by the 
Federal government ; the organization of great armies 
to coerce "the wayward sisters," which believed in the 
right of peaceable secession; the marching of hostile 
armies over Southern soil, accompanied by fire and 
sword — all these things had so. inflamed the minds of 
our preachers and people that many of them could not 
regard sympathy and cooperation with the Northern 
States in the strife as other than downright immorali- 
ty. Besides, it was a political axiom in the South 
that the citizen's first allegiance was due to his State ; 
and many held that,- when one's State had declared in- 
dependence of the government of the United States 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 2 99 

and had become a part of the Confederacy, he was not 
only guilty of treason but of immorality if he sympa- 
thized or cooperated with the invading forces, because 
in so doing he was not "subject to the powers that be." 

This is an apology in advance for some things which 
were done by the Conference of 1862. But, on the oth- 
er hand, it should be borne in mind that the question 
of first allegiance was one about which men might 
honestly differ, and that the question of jurisdiction 
was a pending question which the two contestants were 
endeavoring to settle by force. 

Fortunately for the Church, the Conference of 1861 
was presided over by a level-headed bishop, James O. 
Andrew. He had keenly felt the evil of political dab- 
bling, and hence was averse to mixing religion and 
politics. The Conference of 1861 was therefore har- 
monious. But Bishop John Early was of a different 
temper. Though deeply pious along emotional lines, 
he was aristocratic and haughty, and he was a typical 
Southern fire eater. The war was a personal matter 
with him. With him religion and Southern rights 
were nearly identical, and the Yankees were malefac- 
tors. He dominated the Conference. He was a born 
ruler. Besides, it does not take a philosopher to esti- 
mate the amount of influence which a bishop exerts 
over a Conference of preachers when the fact is con- 
sidered that he has authority to assign every man to 
.his field of labor for the year. 

The Conference began its thirty-ninth session in 
Athens, Tenn., October 15, 1862, Bishop John Early 
President, and John H. Brunner and James W. Dickey 


I shall first take up the dealings of the Conference 
with the Union preachers. I will quote the action of 
the Conference in the language of the recorded min- 
utes, taking the paragraphs relating to this subject as 
they are scattered through the records and placing 
them together : 

Difficulties occurring in the cases of W. H. Rogers and 
W. H. H. Duggan, -they were referred to a committee con- 
sisting of John M. McTeer, James S. Kennedy, Carroll Long, 
William H. Bates, and A. G. Worley. . . . 

The names of William C. Dailey and Patrick H. Reed were 
called and their cases referred to the Committee of Investi- 
gation previously appointed in the cases of W. H. Rogers and 
W. H. H. Duggan. 

On motion of T. K. Catlett, it was resolved that hereafter 
the Conference will not pass the character of any man who is 
known to favor the enemies of our country without reference 
to the committee aforesaid. 

The votes by which the characters of George W. Alexander 
and Jesse A. Hyden were passed were reconsidered. The 
case of J. A. Hyden was then referred to the Committee of 
Investigation. After explanations, on motion, the character 
of George W. Alexander was passed. . . . 

The cases of James Cumming and John Spears were re- 
ferred to the Committee of Investigation. . . . 

[Under the question, Who remain on trial?] Thomas P. 
Rutherford's case was referred to the Committee of Investi- 
gation. . . . 

[Under the question, Who are deacons of one year?] 
Thomas H. Russell was referred to the Committee of Investi- 
gation. . . . 

On motion of James S. Kennedy, the Conference recon- 
sidered the act by which the character of John W. Mann was 
passed. After explanations by Brother Mann, his character 
was passed by vote of the Conference. . . . 

The character of elders was taken up again, and W. Mil- 
burri's name being called, it was, on motion, resolved to refer 

CONFERENCES OF 1 862 AND 1 863. 3OI 

the case to a committee consisting of Wiley, Stevens, Brunner, 
Neal, and Kerr. . . . 

A motion was made to reconsider the vote by which the 
Conference refused to elect M. H. B. Burkett to elder's orders, 
which was lost. [As I understand it, Burkett was a local 

The question, Who remain on trial? was resumed, and 
Robert G. Blackburn was discontinued. 

The examination of the character of elders was resumed. 
The name of John Spears was called, when, it appearing to 
the satisfaction of the Conference that he had taken a position 
in the army of the enemies of his country, on motion of J. M. 
McTeer, he was expelled from the ministry and membership 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. . . . 

The committee to whom were referred the cases of W. H. 
Rogers and W. H. H. Duggan, William C. Daily, Jesse A. 
Hyden, Patrick H. Re"ed, John Spears, James dimming, 
Thomas H. Russell, and Thomas P. Rutherford made their 
report. The preamble (see Appendix F) was adopted, and 
the Secretary was afterwards instructed to send a copy to the 
Richmond Christian Advocate, the Southern Christian Advo- 
cate at Augusta, Athens Post, and the Southern Advocate at 
Bristol, with a request that the editors publish the same. The 
specific reports in the several cases referred to the committee 
were taken up in the following order: 

1. Resolved, That in view of the manner in which William 
Daily defined his present position in reference to his loyalty 
to and support of the Confederate government your committee 
do hereby recommend the passage of his character. 

On motion the resolution was adopted, and his character 
was passed accordingly. 

2. Resolved, That in the case of Thomas P. Rutherford, for- 
asmuch as he stated that he had opinions on that subject 
which he did not choose to communicate and gave the commit- 
tee no satisfaction pro or con on the subject of the complaint 
alleged, he be discontinued. 

This resolution was also adopted, and he discontinued. 

3. Resolved, That in the case of Thomas H. Russell it is 


the judgment of your committee that our brother acted im- 
prudently in organizing a class composed of persons trans- 
ferred from a society in another circuit, but that he is believed 
to have acted without a knowledge of the facts and intended no 
wrong and should therefore be excused. And in view of the 
entire satisfaction he gave the committee touching his loyalty 
to our country, it is recommended that his character be passed. 
The resolution was adopted, and his character passed, 

4. Resolved, That in the case of James dimming, while the 
committee disapprove and deplore his course touching' this 
unhappy controversy, they do, nevertheless, in view of his 
advanced age and consequent infirmities, and in. view of his 
former valuable services to the Church, recommend the pas- 
sage of his character. 

The resolution was adopted, and his character passed. 

5. Resolved, That in the case of Jesse A. Hyden it is the 
judgment of the committee that, while his course has been 
culpably inconsistent in reference to this controversy, no 
evidence appearing against his loyalty to our government at 
present, but to the contrary, we do recommend the passage of 
his character. 

The resolution was adopted, and his character passed. 

6. Resolved, That in the case of Patrick H. Reed, while his 
statements before the committee do not satisfy them touching 
his loyalty, yet in view of the fact that he asks a location 
through us, the committee recommend the passage of his 
character and the granting of his petition. 

The resolution was adopted, his character passed, and he 
granted a location. 

7. Resolved, That in the case of W. H. H. Duggan, while 
his statements before the committee do not satisfy them con- 
cerning his loyalty and therefore in their judgment render him 
an improper person to receive an appointment in the regular 
pastoral work, the committee would, however, recommend the 
passage of his character, and that he be left without an ap- 
pointment for one year. 

The bishop deciding that the recommendation was not legal, 
T. K. Catlett moved to amend the resolution so that he be 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 3O3 

suspended for twelve months. J. M. McTeer moved to amend 
the amendment so that he be suspended for three months. On 
motion, the whole subject was laid on the table for the present. 

The final specific report of the committee was then read. 

8. In the case of William H. Rogers your committee would 
report that he has made before us and others ample protesta- 
tions of loyalty; but we are pained to. find evidence of a want 
of veracity, and therefore prefer the following charges and 

Charge First : Duplicity. 

Specification: In solemnly affirming to John H. Brunner 
that he (Rogers) was a Southern man and occupied precisely 
the same ground that he (Brunner) did; then in affirming 
directly the contrary time and* again, and also in making sim- 
ilarly contradictory statements to John F. Woodfin. 

Charge Second: Criminal Falsehood. 

Specification : In saying that as he passed through the town 
of Knoxville < the Confederate authorities applied to him 
(Rogers) to bear certain documents to William G. Brownlow, 
as they had confidence in him and supposed that he knew where 
Brownlow was; and that he (Rogers) conveyed said docu- 
ments to Brownlow, whereas he made substantially contra- 
dictory statements before the committee both as to the fact of 
his knowing Brownlow's whereabouts and of his bearing said 
documents to him. 

On motion, the report was adopted and the case laid over 
till to-morrow. 

A. W. Cummings introduced the following resolution, which 
was adopted : 

Resolved, That the bishop be, and he is hereby, requested to 
appoint the following brethren chaplains to the Confederate 
army: E. C. Wexler, Twenty-Ninth Regiment,' North Carolina 
Volunteers; Henry P. Waugh, Colonel Allen's Regiment, 
North Carolina Volunteers ; -Milton Maupin, Colonel Menefee's 
Independent Regiment, Virginia State line; Philip S. Sutton, 
Seventh Battalion, North Carolina Volunteers. 

On motion, William C. Bowman, Thomas F, Glenn, and 
Joseph A. Wiggins -were added to the above list. . . . 


E. E. Wiley, chairman of the committee on the case of W. 
Milburn, made his report, whereupon, on motion, the case 
was referred to the presiding elder of the district for further 
investigation. . . . 

The vote by which Robert G. Blackburn was discontinued 
was reconsidered, and he continued on trial. The vote by 
which he was continued On trial was reconsidered, and he 
was admitted into full connection and elected to deacon's 
orders. . . . 

The case of William H. Rogers was resumed. J. S. Ken- 
nedy moved that the case of W. H. Rogers be referred to the 
presiding elder of the district for investigation. [The minutes 
do not state what action was taken on this motion.] 

The case of W. H. H. Duggan was resumed. The amend- 
men offered by J. M. McTeer was withdrawn. The vote was 
taken on the amendment offered by T. K. Catlett, which was 
adopted, and W. H. H. Duggan was suspended for twelve 
months. . . . 

E. E. Wiley introduced the following resolution, which was 
adopted, the vote being taken by the Secretary: 

Resolved, In view of the fact that in his intercourse, social 
and official, with the Conference as individuals and as a body, 
Bishop Early has exhibited that spirit of Christian 'courtesy 
and episcopal firmness so becoming in one in his position, that 
we cherish for him grateful remembrances. 

E. E. Wiley, 
William Robeson. 

Some of this unfortunate work was also done at 
the Conferences of 1863 and 1864. Bishop Early was 
largely responsible for it, as the action occurred under 
his rulings, and it was his duty to draw the line be- 
tween the secular and the spiritual, which he did not 
do, and to see that the proceedings against the accused 
brethren were strictly according to the law of the 
Church ; for it was a marked inconsistency in the 
Conference that in prosecuting the supposed violators 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 305 

of law it violated the law itself in its method of pro- 
cedure. I am reminded of what Paul said to the high 
priest who commanded him to be smitten in the mouth : 
"Sittest thou to judge me according to the law, and 
commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?" 
In my criticism of. the Bishop and the Conference I do 
not refer £o much to the resolution of political into 
moral offenses as to the disregard of the constitution- 
al provision prohibiting the General Conference from 
doing away with "the privileges of our ministers or 
preachers of trial by committee and of an appeal." It 
will be seen that John Spears, who was absent from 
the Conference, was expelled from the Church by sim- 
ple resolution, without notice and without due form of 

The irregularities which occurred at this and the two 
succeeding Conferences attracted the attention of the 
General Conference of 1866. Bishop Early was in- 
formally censured and prematurely retired to the su- 
perannuate relation, and all the preachers who had 
been expelled from the Church on political charges un- 
der the rulings of Bishop Early were restored to the 
Church and ministry, with the exception of Mr. Black- 
burn, who at the time was in a state of expulsion from 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. This restoration was 
only virtual, and never became actual. The mischief 
had been done, and could only be confessed, but could 
not be repaired. 

The resolution of Dr. Wiley indorsing the Bishop 
socially and officially only shows how completely the 
Conference was under the Bishop's domination and 
how far they partook of his radical spirit. 


A short time after this session of the Conference I 
met Dr. Wiley, and he gave me an account of the 
proceedings. It appears that when Mr. Burkett ap- 
plied for ordination, objection was made on account 
of his supposed disloyalty to the Confederacy. Mr. 
Burkett admitted that he had sympathized with the 
Federals, but claimed that his mind had undergone a 
change. While Burkett was standing and explaining, 
Br. Wiley said to him : "Brother Burkett, we Method- 
ists believe in sudden conversion, and we believe that 
a converted man can usually give the time and place 
of his conversion. Please tell us the time and place of 
your conversion to the cause of the South." Dr. Wiley 
remarked to me that Mr. Burkett seemed embarrassed 
and was not able to give a satisfactory answer to this 
question, whereupon I remarked: "If I had been in his 
place, I would have said: 'Dr. Wiley, it is none of 
your business.' " He replied : "And that would have 
been right." His apology for asking the question was 
that he simply wished to help the Conference to get at 
what they wanted. 

The Journal has no record of the preamble of the 
report of the committee which considered the cases of 
the brethren accused of disloyalty, but I find it pre- 
served in the Southern Advocate. I have been for- 
tunate in preserving a copy of one issue of that paper. 
Its title is "Southern Advocate. A Family Newspa- 
per devoted to News, Religion, Temperance, Agricul- 
ture, and the Interests of the South generally/' W. 
W." Neal and M. L. Comann were editors and proprie- 
tors. The copy before me is Volume I., No. 31, and 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 307 

the place and date are Bristol-Goodson, Va. and Tenn., 
Thursday, November 6, 1862. 

In this paper I find editorial mention of the Ath- 
ens Conference as follows : 

Upon the great question now exciting the country it took 
decided ground. No unsafe brother was to go abroad with 
his character indorsed by the Conference, to clan with tories, to 
instigate rebellion, to incite to servile insurrection throughout 
the country, and thus to be a general emissary of treason. A 
man who is untrue to his country in such a crisis will not do to 
trust in his fidelity to God and his Church. The Conference 
started off* on the right foot both in the pulpit and in its delib- 
erative capacity. 

The opening Conference sermon was preached by 
Dr. Wiley. His text was Galatians i. 7, 8 : "But there 
shall be some that trouble you, and would pervert the 
gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from 
heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that 
which we have preached unto 1 you, let him be ac- 
cursed." The sermon took the Southern view of do- 
mestic slavery, declared that the Southern pulpit had 
not done its duty in expounding the biblical teachings 
of the Old and New Testament Scriptures on the sub- 
ject, while the clerical fanatics of the North had been 
fulminating their higher law, abolition heresies. He 
insisted that Southern preachers should more faith- 
fully discharge their duty to the Church and country 
by preaching a whole gospel to master and servant as 
such. He charged that the ministry of the North were 
largely instrumental in creating the peculiar complex- 
ion of popular sentiment which had culminated in the 
destruction of the Union, and said that, while the 
Southern ministry had done much toward the perma- 


nent success of the Confederacy, they ought to do 
more, not by shouldering arms and marching to the 
tented field to mingle in the bloody strife, the shock of 
battle and clash of arms, but, while engaged in the 
more legitimate duties of their holy calling, by culti- 
vating unity of thought and purpose and a spirit of 
loyalty, sacrifice, and endurance among the people. 

These were radical utterances of a man usually 
calm and dispassionate, but they certainly embodied 
the spirit by which the Conference was at that time 

The preamble referred to above I copy from the 
Southern Advocate as follows: 

The committee to whom was referred for suitable investi- 
gation certain complaints against the following named breth- 
ren, W. H. Rogers, W. H. H. Dnggan, William C. Daily, 
Jesse A. Hyden, Patrick H. Reed, John Spears, James Cum- 
ming, Thomas H. Russell, and Thomas P. Rutherford, beg 
leave to present the following: 

Solemnly impressed with the duty and responsibility de- 
volving on this Conference touching the exceedingly delicate 
and momentous issues involved in any action which it may 
take in reference to its scriptural and ecclesiastical relations 
to the great and terrible controversy now shaking the founda- 
tions of Church and State, your committee feel constrained to 
preface their specific report in the case of the brethren above 
mentioned with the declaration of a few general facts essential 
in their judgment to the proper exhibition before the public 
mind of the causes and reasons of such recommendatory action 
on the part of this Conference as is hereinafter set forth. 

The jurisdiction of the General Conference of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church over the Conferences in the slavehold- 
ing States having been entirely dissolved in May, 1845, by a 
convention of delegates formally appointed in pursuance of a 
"Plan of Separation" adopted by the General Conference of 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 309 

the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1844, the Church in the 
slaveholding States, in her primary assemblies and the Quar- 
terly and Annual Conferences, with a unanimity unparalleled 
in ecclesiastical history, approved the course of the delegates 
and declared her conviction that a separate and independent 
jurisdiction was necessary to her existence and prosperity. 
In the South and Southwest at that time (a conviction since 
attested by the most overwhelming proofs) the continued agi- 
tation of the subject of slavery and its actual and practical 
abolition in some parts of the South not only rendered neces- 
sary but absolutely demanded separation from the Northern 
portion of the Church in order to the successful preaching of 
the gospel in the South and the establishment of Christ's 
kingdom in the hearts of both master and slave. 

The history of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
since its formal organization in 1845 has furnished, and still 
furnishes, multiplied evidences of the wisdctn and far-reaching 
sagacity of the fathers and chief pastors of Southern Meth- 
odism at that time in having divorced themselves and their 
flocks from the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of those who came 
amongst them as wolves in sheep's clothing, openly and covertly 
undermining the foundations of our social system, stirring up 
internal commotion, aiding and counseling the sedition and 
insurrection of our slaves by alienating them from their mas- 
ters and disaffecting them toward their providential allotment. 
It is with profound regret that it remains to be written, 
as the sequel of this unholy and antiscriptural crusade of 
abolition fanaticism and higher law infidelity against the 
Southern Church and Southern institutions generally, that it 
has eventually culminated in the permanent and irrevocable 
dissolution of the Federal government and has forced upon 
the sovereign people of the Southern States (as in the case 
of the Southern Methodists in 1844) the ineradicable convic- 
tion that the only alternative left them in the providence of 
God is to appeal to the Sovereign of the universe for the 
righteousness of their cause and, under his blessing and guid- 
ance, to organize for themselves a government founded upon 
the great principles of justice and equity, for mutual protec- 


tion and for the better security of all those rights of religion 
and good society guaranteed to us and all other peoples by 
the God of heaven. It cannot now be gainsaid, with all the 
lights before us, that to the people of the Confederate States 
has been committed in a sense true of no other people on the 
face of the globe the guardianship and moral and intellectual 
culture cf the African race ; and that the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, is, to a great extent, charged, in the provi- 
dence of God, with the religious destiny of the colored man. 

Peculiarly and intimately related to the institution of do- 
mestic slavery in the Confederate States, as the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, has ever been, and deeply involved 
as she is in the future weal of that people, it is gratifying to be 
able to state that still, as ever, she holds it to be her religious 
duty to throw the whole weight of her influence, ministerial 
and lay, into the scale against the encroachments of religious 
fanaticism and infidelity. 

It was no unnatural result, therefore, that the- ministry and 
membership of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as a 
whole, alike because of her historical antecedents and her doc- 
trinal peculiarities, touching Southern institutions generally 
and this institution especially, should be found arrayed side by 
side with the great masses of the Southern people in religiously 
contending in part for the very same rights — political, civil, 
and religious — for the security of which they wer<? compelled, 
in 1844, to adopt measures for a separate and independent 
ecclesiastical organization. 

And now that the Abolitionists and Black Republicans of 
the North, in and out of Northern Churches, have inaugu- 
rated, without just provocation, causelessly and wickedly, a 
terrible and relentless warfare of invasion, plunder, and whole- 
sale confiscation against all our rights of property, person, arid 
conscience by an utter and base prostitution of all sacred 
sanctions of constitutional liberty, with the repeatedly avowed 
object of subjugation or extermination, the people called 
Southern Methodists could not so far forget their past his- 
tory or become so blinded to their providential destiny as not 
to perceive, with the clearness of a sunbeam, that the success 


of the Federal ^government, in any form and under any cir- 
cumstances as at present related to this terrible controversy, 
could only eventuate in the utter destruction of Southern 
Methodism, as well as of true republican liberty. 

And now, moreover, that the Southern States, under the 
blessing and providence of Almighty God, have been enabled 
to organize themselves into a permanent Confederacy, with all 
the machinery of government in motion, and with all its re- 
sources, internal and foreign, laid under contribution for the 
preservation and perpetuity of our political, civil, and religious 
rights, your committee, in common with the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, as a whole, hold it to be the religious 
duty of her ministry and membership within the limits of 
this Confederacy not only to be subject to the supreme au- 
thority of our country where they may reside, but also to use 
all laudable means to enjoin obedience to its established pow- 
ers.* The Scriptures and Discipline of our Church enforce 
these obligations. Touching the duty with which your com- 
mittee has been charged on behalf of this Conference of South- 
ern Methodist preachers, invested with the spiritual oversight 
of a flock of perhaps fifty thousand souls, they beg leave to 
say they are pained at the very thought that any suspicion, 
much less well-grounded complaint of disloyalty to our estab- 
lishel government, or of disaffection to and want of sympa- 
thy with our government in its earnest and mighty struggle 
against its ruthless foes for the blessings and rights of polit- 
ical and religious liberty, should lie against or attach to any 
member of this body. 

They feel constrained, furthermore, to say that for the sake 
of not only themselves and this Conference, but for the sake 
Of all the people of our various charges, no member of this 
body is held obnoxious to complaints or allegations because 
of former or present opinions touching the abstract political 
questions of secession and revolution, and that such a repre- 
sentation of the acts of this body would be as false as malicious. 
But now that these questions have assumed a concrete form 
and under the inspiration of abolition fanaticism have kin- 
dled the fires of the most brutal and ruthless warfare ever 


known in the history of man, involving every interest, political 
and religious, held to be most sacred and absolutely vital to 
the present and future weal of our people, it is the deliberate 
and religious conviction of your committee that no patriot, 
no Christian, and, least of all, no Christian minister who 
claims to be a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, and a citizen of the Confederate States of America, 
and who is presumed to be even partially acquainted with the 
merits of this unhappy controversy, can throw the weight of 
his opinions, words, or acts into the scales of our enemies 
against us with moral impunity or with a conscience void of 
offense toward God and his fellow countrymen. Therefore, in 
the judgment of your committee, the following simple princi- 
ples are held to be true and unanswerable : 

i. The Word of God and the Discipline of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, as far as it respects civil affairs, 
make it the religious duty of Christians, and especially all 
Christian ministers, to be subject to the supreme authority of 
the country where they may reside, and to use all laudable 
means to enjoin obedience to its established powers. (See 
Rom. xiii. 7; Titus iii. 1; 1 Pet. ii. 13; Discipline, p. 129.) 

2. The Scriptures make it a duty to offer supplications, 
prayers, and intercession for rulers and all in authority, that 
we may lead quiet and peaceful lives in all godliness and 
honesty. (See 1 Timothy ii. 1.) 

* 3. In a moral point of view a willful and persistent viola- 
tion of these preceptive truths of the gospel and religious 
obligations involve legitimately a grave offense against the 
Word of God and the Discipline of the Church. 

Your committee hold, therefore, that in applying these 
general principles as a test of moral character in this body, 
instead of being liable by such action to the imputation of 
instituting an inquisition into the peculiar abstract political 
dogmas of any member, we are only fulfilling our obligation 
to God and the Church in thus guarding its purity and in- 

A true extract from the minutes. 

J. W. Dickey, Assistant Secretary. 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 313 

This preamble was, as I am informed, written by 
Dr. Kennedy. It is in his characteristic style — schol- 
arly, diffuse, and stately. 

In addition to the above, the following items of 
business were transacted by the Conference : 

The death of Elbert F. Sevier, who died Saturday 
of the Conference, was announced, and James Atkins 
was by vote of the Conference requested to preach his 
memorial sermon, but was afterwards excused. 

The Conference by vote requested the bishops to 
call an extra General Conference, and delegates were 
elected as follows : E. E. Wiley, J. S. Kennedy, James 
Atkins, John M. McTeer, William Robeson, R. M. 
Stevens, and John H. Brunner. Reserves : A. W. Cum- 
mings and T. K. 'Catlett. 

The regular General Conference was -to have met in 
May, 1862, but did not materialize on account of the 
condition of the country. 

At this session the Conference resolved to establish 
a. Conference organ, as the Nashville Christian Advo- 
cate had been suspended owing to the occupation of 
Nashville by the Federals. A committee consisting of 
E. E. Wiley, T. K. Catlett, C. W. Charlton, J. B. G. 
Kinsloe, A. W. Cummings, and C. Long was appointed 
with full authority to establish a Conference paper, 
with two provisos : ( 1 ) That it should be a strictly re- 
ligious paper, and (2) that the Conference should in- 
cur no financial responsibility. The paper -was estab- 
lished in a short time under the title of Hoist on Jour- 
nal; and Charles W. Charlton, a local preacher, was 
elected editor. It was a lively paper while it lasted, 
and was well patronized. But the enterprise perished 
in the occupation of Knoxville by General Burnside, 


George W. Alexander tendered his resignation as 
treasurer of the Ambrister Fund, and John H. Brun- 
ner was elected to fill the vacancy. 

Warilke as the Conference in its present session 
had been, the hearts of the preachers yearned for 
peace. T. K. Catlett presented resolutions, which were 
adopted, pledging the preachers and people to observe 
such days of fasting and prayer as the Confederate 
government might set apart from time to time, and to 
pray for peace. Timothy Sullins also Offered resolu- 
tions, which were adopted, requesting preachers and 
worshiping assemblies throughout the Conference "at 
every religious service to pray for our distracted and 
afflicted country, for divine protection and direction in 
all our dangers and troubles, and for peace on terms 
that would glorify God and bless mankind." 

Admitted on trial : Henry C Neal, Tobias F. Smyth, James 
E. Niece, George W. Hicks, Joshua S. Brooks. 

Readmitted : Thpmas J. Pope, Mitchell P. Swaim. 

Located : Conaro D. Smith, John W. Bowman, Willis Ingle, 
Riley A. Giddens, Patrick H. Reed, William Hicks, James S. 
Edwards, S. S. Sweet, William C. Daily. 

Discontinued : Edward Dawn, William H. Talley, John W. 
Dodson, Thomas A. Cass, Thomas R. West, William P. Coop- 
er, Thomas P. Rutherford. 

Superannuated : Joseph Haskew, David Fleming, Rufus M. 
Stevens, William Robeson, Timothy Sullins, Daniel B. Carter, 
Wiley B. Winton, Thomas K. Munsey, R. W. Patty, James W. 
Belt, John Alley, Moses H. Spencer. 

Transferred to Mississippi Conference : G. W. Alexander. 

Expelled : John Spears. 

Died : Elbert F. Sevier. 

Numbers in society: White, 55,395; colored,. 4,235. Total, 
59,630. Increase, 6,674 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 315 

Local preachers, 390; traveling preachers, 141. 
Collected for missions, $3,990.20. 

William C. Daily was a good, sweet-spirited man of 
respectable preaching- talents. He afterwards affiliated 
with the Methodist Episcopal Church, labored in it in 
East Tennessee, and died within its pale. His brother- 
in-law, Crockett Godby, was a chaplain in the Confed- 
erate army. 

John W. Bowman was a native of Yancey (now 
Mitchell) County, N. C. He had a portly and elegant 
person. He had a good English education; his ora- 
torical powers were rather superior; he was a harm- 
less, loving, and lovable man. His son, William, who 
was educated ,at Emory and Henry College, is said to 
have graded as high in student scholarship as any 
young man who was ever a student of that institution. 
Brother Bowman labored many years in the Holston 
Conference and later in the Western North Carolina 
Conference, and died in the work in that Conference. 

James S. Edwards was an honest but eccentric man. 
While in the regular work he found the attendance at 
one of his week day appointments distressingly small. 
After preaching there one day, he announced his next 
appointment at that place thus : "I have been trying 
to preach Jesus to this people to the bert of my abili- 
ty, but from the way the people turn out to preaching 
I judge that Jesus is not popular in this neighborhood. 
Please tell the people that when I come again I will 
give them the devil." At his next appointment he had 
a good congregation, and his text was i Peter v. 8: 
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the 
devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom 


he may devour." The sermon made a good impres- 
sion, the attendance at that place became good, and 
the Church enjoyed quite a revival during the year. 

George W. Alexander was born in Rhea County, 
Tenn., July 2, 1813; joined the Methodist Episcopal 
Church on probation in September, 1829; experienced 
a change of heart and was made indescribably happy 
in the love of God June 21, 1829. He was appointed 
Sunday school teacher the following summer ; licensed 
to exhort in 1833 ; and licensed to preach by the Rev. 
John Henninger, presiding elder, in August, 1836, at 
a quarterly meeting held on Chickamauga Creek. He 
was admitted into the Holston Conference at Reems 
Creek, N. C, in 1836. He labored in fche Conference 
on sixteen circuits, three stations, four districts, and 
was one year Agent of Emory and Henry College. He 
was married three times. His first wife was Miss 
Lavicy Sturm ; his second, Miss Lizzie Smith ; and his 
third, Mary A. Ballew. He was transferred to the 
Mississippi Conference in 1862. In that Conference 
he served on Bonpierre Circuit three years and Mt. 
Olivet Circuit one year, and then located. 

Brother Alexander's early religious opportunities 
were of the best. He was brought up in the nurture 
and admonition of the Lord. His father could scarcely 
be equaled as citizen, parent, and especially as Christian. 
He was constant in his private devotions, always hold- 
ing family worship morning and evening; he faithfully 
kept the quarterly fasts, and attended public worship 
on week days and Sabbaths. He was a class leader for 
more than forty years, often holding two class meet- 
ings at different places in one day. His zeal as an ex- 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 317 

horter and local preacher was remarkable, and, though 
lacking in the graces of elocution, his efforts were al- 
ways effective. The son followed him as he followed 
Christ, and closed his happy and useful career at Phoe- 
nix, Miss., on the 26th day of June, 1902, aged eighty- 
eight years, eleven months, and twenty-four days. 

The writer was intimately acquainted with Brother 
Alexander and enjoyed his warmest friendship. He 
was a meek, quiet, prudent, and well-rounded man. As 
a friend he was genial and affectionate, and his social 
qualities were of a high order. He had a good English 
education, his reading had been considerable, and his 
rhetoric as a writer and speaker was polished. As a 
preacher he was always thoughtful and evangelical. 
Usually, however, he was. somewhat deficient in ani- 
mation and magnetism. But the subject and occasion 
sometimes aroused him ; and on such occasions his ora- 
tory was overwhelming, bearing down all before it like 
a Johnstown flood. The lion was in him, and needed 
only to be aroused. 

He was so popular in Mississippi that in the section 
where he lived he almost had a monopoly of marry- 
ing and preaching funeral sermons and performing fu- 
neral ceremonies. The couples scarcely felt married 
and survivors scarcely felt that their deceased friends 
had been properly buried unless it was done by Father 
Alexander, such was the high and loving estimation 
in which he was held. 

Conaro Drayton Smith, eighth son of Samuel and 
Mary Smith, was born in Buncombe County, N. C, 
April 1, 1813; and died at his home, near Franklin, 
Macon County, N. G, January 30, 1894. He had 


English and Welsh blood in his veins. He was edu- 
cated in good subscription schools, which were kept 
in the fall and winter. These furnished him all his 
school advantages ; but his father had a small library 
of useful books, which Conaro eagerly read. He 
clerked at one time for Smith & McElroy, on Caney 
River, in Yancey County, N. C. This firm made the 
manufacture of green ginseng root a specialty. Their 
operations in ginseng were in what are now Madison, 
Yancey, Buncombe, Mitchell, Watauga, Ashe, and Al- 
legheny Counties, N. C, along the northern spurs of 
the Iron Mountains and the Roane and Yancey Ball, 
in Tennessee. The year Conaro Smith was with the 
firm (1837) the amount of green ginseng collected 
and handled at the factories was something over 86,000 
pounds. This yielded about 25,000 pounds of choice 
clarified root, which was barreled and shipped to Phil- 
adelphia, and was designed for the Chinese market. 

When Yancey County was established, John W. Mc- 
Elroy, a lifelong Methodist, was elected the first clerk 
of the Superior Court, and Conaro Smith became his 
deputy. In 1836, at a camp meeting held at Caney 
River Camp Ground by the Rev. Charles K. Lewis, at 
that time preacher in charge of Reems Creek Circuit, 
Dr. Smith professed conversion and joined the Meth- 
odist Church. In June, 1837, he was licensed to 
preach, and in the same year was admitted into the 
Holston Conference. In the year 1841-42 he was on 
the Jonesboro Circuit, assisted by William Hicks ; and 
that year the two succeeded in adding to the member- 
ship of the circuit eight hundred persons. The fourth 
quarterly meeting of the circuit that year was held at 



Brush Creek Camp Ground, the present site of John- 
son City. At that meeting two persons were instantly 
killed by lightning during divine service. It was the 
hour of the Sunday night service. The Rev. William 
Milburn had closed a sermon full of pointed appeals 
to sinners, and quite a number had come to the altar. 
The atmosphere was heavy and murky. It was dense- 
ly cloudy, with low, rumbling thunder; flashes of 
lightning were frequent. Three young persons were 
standing in the door of a tent, a frame building, which 
was about twenty feet in the rear of the pulpit. They 
were: Miss Mary Taylor, sister of the late Rev. Dr. 
Nathaniel G. Taylor, of Carter County, Tenn. ; a young 
Mr. Miller, of North Carolina; and a young man by 
the name of Gillespie. The two young gentlemen had 
their arms across each other's shoulders. The three 
stood close together, with Mr. Gillespie in the middle. 
Miss Taylor was leaning her head against the door 
post, near which stood a stubby Spanish oak thirty 
or forty feet high. The three were intently watching 
the exercises at the altar when a bolt of lightning 
struck the door post about two and a half feet above 
Miss Taylor's head, splitting the post down to her 
head. It passed through Gillespie to Miller and thence 
went to the ground. Miss Taylor, who fell at the feet 
of her brother Nathaniel, and young Miller were in- 
stantly killed ; while Gillespie, though terribly shocked, 
recovered. Several persons in the adjoining tent were 
severely shocked, among whom was Dr. Numa. F. 
Reid, who was then a student at Emory and Henry 
College and was afterwards a leading member of the 
North Carolina Conference. The whole surface of the 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 321 

encampment was impregnated with electricity. Per- 
sons at remote points in the tents were slightly shocked. 
The congregation was a large one, and the seats un- 
der the large shed were pretty well filled. A few seats 
back from the altar the people were standing, and far- 
ther back they were standing on the seats, the whole 
presenting the appearance of an amphitheater. When 
the explosion occurred the large assembly sank down 
to their seats with a universal scream, for they were 
all more or less shocked. Dr. Smith was standing in 
the altar conducting the altar exercises. He was 
shocked and nearly thrown to the earth. Every face 
seemed awestricken. The news flew over the country 
with great rapidity, and by the hour of service next 
day persons had arrived from Blountville, Jonesboro, 
Kingsport, Elizabethton, and other places. Dr. Sam- 
uel Patton, who was the presiding elder at the time, 
preached that day what was considered by many the 
sermon of his life. His text was Exodus xxxiii. 21, 22, 
23. Dr. Smith in his autobiography describes the ser- 
mon as follows: 

For prof ound moral philosophy as it stands related to God, 
for clear and forcible argument showing the solidity of the 
foundation on which the believer stands and the source of his 
refuge and safety in the hour of danger, and for broad, lucid 
discussion of the hidden wisdom of God in the divine admin- 
istration, I have never heard the sermon excelled. It came in 
great flashes of light that startled .the audience and rounded 
up into periods that thrilled every nerve. It was one of those 
grand productions of the old pioneer cavalry brigade of Meth- 
odism which belonged to a period that has finally passed away. 

On the 21 st of September, 1847, Dr. Smith was mar- 
ried at the Middle Brook Paper Mills, near Knoxville, 


Term., to Margaret R., daughter of Capt. Marcus D. 

Dr. Smith served some years as a presiding elder, 
and he was a member of the General Conference of 
1850, which met in St. Louis. In 1853 he was ap- 
pointed agent of the American Colonization Society, 
but held this position only a short time. 

Dr. Smith's principal laurels, if he is to be judged 
from the standpoint of the world, were won in the 
field of science. Pwing to impaired health, he found 
it necessary to retire from the regular ministry. His 
manner of life after this I will allow him to narrate in 
his own language : 

Having had from an early day a taste for mineralogy and 
geology, and believing that the geologic history properly in- 
terpreted harmonized with the Mosiac account of creation, I 
gave those subjects some attention through my whole active 
ministerial life and acquired some knowledge of them. During 
the year 1854 I made some expert explorations in North- 
western Georgia, Southeast Alabama, and Carroll and Grayson 
Counties, Va. During these explorations, which were chiefly 
made for copper, I discovered molybdic ocher in Herd County, 
Ga. My health was gradually failing; and, finding the lime- 
stone water of East Tennessee unfavorable to my health, I re- 
turned to the mountains of Western North Carolina in a state 
of physical prostration. I purchased a small farm and settled 
down upon it. While I have made farming my chief means 
of supporting my family, I have devoted a good deal of my 
time to the study of geology and mineralogy. On my return 
to the mountains I struck out with pick and hammer and books 
in good earnest amongst these grand and beautiful mountains, 
resolved to know their geological structure and mineral re- 
sources.' Thus associating with nature in all its unmutilated 
beauty as seen in its noble forests and charming scenery, and 
using the pure cold water which comes gushing from the old 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 323 

crystalline gneiss, and drinking in the delicious and intoxicat- 
ing mountain air, together with pleasant mental labors, I 
recovered a reasonable degree of health. These branches of 
science are eminently kindergarten in their character. They 
are indeed objective, and cannot be fully understood without 
specimens before the eye, and even then the study of the 
specimens in the cabinet or lecture room cannot attain the 
readiness and accuracy of recognition which the field affords 
for comparison. 

When Dr. Smith began his geological explorations 
of the North Carolina mountains, this great mountain 
domain was credited before the world with only ten 
mineral species. To this list he added a' large number. 
During his life he collected a considerable cabinet of 
mineral specimens. I saw it, and was surprised and 
delighted with 'the great variety of rocks which he had 
gathered and preserved, from different parts of the 
earth, and especially from the North Carolina and 
Tennessee mountains. It would have been a respecta- 
ble cabinet for any college. I know not what disposi- 
tion was made of it after his death. 

At one time he visited me in Morristown and spent 
a day or two. We had at that time a mineralogist liv- 
ing in the place, whose business it was to prospect for 
minerals. I introduced Dr. Smith to him as himself a 
mineralogist. This gentleman, whose name I have 
forgotten, seemed anxious to test the knowledge of 
my guest. He brought out stone after stone which 
Dr. Smith was able to name^at sight, such as different 
kinds of iron, copper, zinc, lead ore, etc. At length he 
produced a rock, and after a slight examination Dr. 
Smith said, "This kind of ore cannot be found east of 
the Mississippi/' and he was informed that it was 


from Colorado. Finally another rock was produced, 
which the gentleman no doubt thought would puzzle 
our Holston amateur. At this point Dr. Smith found 
it necessary to use a magnifying glass, and then ob- 
served, "This rock does not belong to the crust of the 
earth ; it is an aerolite ;" and such it was. I was proud 
of the triumphant manner in which this Methodist 
preacher stood the examination. Indeed, he had a 
wonderful acquaintance with geology and mineralogy 
— an acquaintance which amounted to more than learn- 
ing ; it evidenced genius of no ordinary character. 

Hiwassee College, in Tennessee, did itself credit 
by conferring upon Conaro D. Smith the degree of 
Doctor of Divinity. It is a wonder that some college 
or university did not confer upon him* the degree of 
LL.D. ; but kissing goes by favor, and Dr. Smith was 
a modest man who did not press his claims to recogni- 

The immediate cause of Dr. Smith's death was an 
attack of grippe, but its primary cause was a hurt 
which he received two years before his death. While 
crossing Nantahala Mountain between Hayesville, in 
Clay County, and Macon County, N. C, on horseback, 
he attempted to alight. Placing his foot on the surface 
root of a tree, which was wet and slippery, his foot 
slipped and, losing his balance, he fell, fracturing or 
dislocating his thigh bone at the joint. He was so 
shocked that he was unable to move, and he lay on the 
cold, damp ground from three o'clock in the afternoon 
till nine o'clock the next morning. This being an un- 
frequented path, he might have lain there till he died ; 
but a man from Clay County, as a good Providence 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 325 

would have it, happened to be crossing the .mountain 
on foot, and, discovering him and securing help, con- 
veyed him to a residence a few miles away. So great 
were his sufferings that for a year he never slept ex- 
cept through the influence of narcotics, and then he 
slept sitting in a chair. But he was able to walk a 
little, by the help of crutches, the last year of his life. 
While confined to his chair he wrote a short autobi- 
ography, from which I have gathered many of the 
facts and words recorded above. Notwithstanding his 
great suffering, his mind remained remarkably clear to 
the last. 

When Dr. Smith was hurt and lay helpless on the 
ground, his faithful horse would not leave him. He 
attempted to drive him away, so that the empty sad- 
dle might advertise the mishap ; but the horse stubborn- 
ly refused to leave. It was raining part of the time, 
and Dr. Smith had nothing to shield him from the 
rain and a September night atmosphere but an alpaca 
overcoat and an umbrella. 

Dr. Smith had made the trip into Clay County for 
Prof. Holmes, the State Geologist, for the purpose of 
collecting timber and minerals for an exhibit at the 
World's Fair. 

Mrs. Smith lived a little more than two years after 
her husband's death. They had eight children, of 
whom only five reached maturity — four boys and one 

Dr. Smith left a small farm of some thirty acres, 
which is now owned by his son, Frank T. Smith. 

Dr. Smith wielded the pen of a ready writer. In a 
number of biographical sketches written for the Hoi- 


ston Methodist he rendered valuable historical service 
to the Church and country. These sketches related al- 
most exclusively to Holston preachers, and his etch- 
ings drawn from personal acquaintance and experi- 
ence were graphic. I have used them freely in the 
three volumes of this work. In October, 1888, he 
preached before the Holston Conference at Asheville, 
N. C, his semicentennial sermon, which was pub- 
lished in pamphlet form. In the annual report of the 
Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution for 
the year 1876 may be found a carefully written article 
on "Ancient Mica Mines in North Carolina" from the 
pen of Dr. Smith. In Prof. W. C. Kerr's work, 
"North Carolina Geology," Appendix D, is an article 
entitled "Corundum and Its Associated Rocks," also 
an "Essay on the Geology of Western North Caro- 
lina," by Dr. Smith. These articles display accurate 
knowledge of the subjects treated, and they place 
him among the greatest scientists of the Old North 

During the Conference year of 1862-63 a promi- 
nent layman of the Church within the bounds of the 
Abingdon Circuit died. He was the father of the au- 
thor, and I feel a delicacy in devoting space to him in 
this work; but he was such an active and influential 
Methodist and his life was so interwoven in the history 
of his section that, as a faithful historian, I cannot 
omit mention of his character and doings. 

John W. Price was a son of Richard Price and Pris- 
cilla Crabtree. He was born in Russell County, Va., 
April 9, 1794 ; and died at his home, in Washington 
County, Va., April 15, 1863. His ancestors on his fa- 

CONFERENCES OF 1 862 AND 1 863. 327 

ther's side were of Welsh blood and the Quaker reli- 
gion. One of his ancestors crossed the ocean with 
William Penn in 1682, and obtained possession of a 
few lots in the infant town of Philadelphia. Richard 
Price was of this stock, and was probably born in that 
town. Sometime after the middle of the eighteenth 
century he and his brother Thomas came to what is 
now Russell County, Va., when it was almost an un- 
broken wilderness and when the daring adventurers 
who settled in it were in constant danger from the 

Richard Price entered several thousand acres of 
what is known as the Elk Garden lands, and there 
built and lived. He married Priscilla, a daughter of 
William Crabtree, who at the time owned a body of 
land embracing what is now Saltville, Va. His wife's 
mother, Mrs. William Crabtree, was a McHenry and 
probably a sister of the Rev. Barnabas McHenry, of 
ecclesiastical celebrity. 1 During the latter part of her 
life she spun, wove, and bleached flax linen and made 
a hundred garments of underwear, remarking that 
when she was dead she wished her daughters to see 
what her fingers had been about. 

Richard # Price was a person of powerful physical 
manhood. In his build he was well proportioned, a lit- 
tle inclined to obesity, and weighing about two hundred 
and twenty pounds. The fame of his strength and 
activity went abroad, and a bully from Kentucky came 
horseback a considerable distance to have a slugging 
match with him. Mr. Price replied that he was not 

^ee Volume I., pp. 205-213. • 


a fighting man, but the stranger insisted so earnestly 
upon a fight that he consented. As he was taking off 
his shirt, the stranger, seeing his powerful muscles, at- 
tacked him before he was stripped. Price as quickly 
as possible tore the shirt off and then addressed him- 
self to the task of conquering his adversary, which 
was quickly accomplished. At the regulation cry of 
"Enough !" the battle ceased. After getting his din- 
ner and his horse fed at Mr. Price's, the bully left, 
satisfied that there was one better man than himself. 
The family tradition places this slugging match before 
the conversion of Mr. Price. 

Richard and Priscilla Price had nine children — sev- 
en sons and two daughters. John Wesley was the 
fifth of the nine. He married Mary Miller, of Wash- 
ington County, Va. Her father, Capt. Joseph Miller, 
a man of German extraction, was a well-to-do farmer, 
a man of -intelligence, of probity, and of great symmet- 
ry of character. He for a time represented his county 
in the Legislature of Virginia, and was a member 
when Lafayette made his first visit to the United 
States after the Revolutionary War. He voted for an 
appropriation for a banquet in honor of Lafayette; 
and for this vote, which was considered a njece of ex- 
travagance, his constituents refused to be represented 
by him again. He was for long years chairman of 
the County Court of Washington County, and a more 
prudent and impartial chairman that court never had. 

I lived with my Grandfather Miller several months, 
attending school. He had a large, symmetrical per- 
son and weighed nearly two hundred pounds. His 
complexion was fair, and his features were expressive 


of intelligence and benevolence. I never saw him an- 
gry. He always spoke to his servants and his chil- 
dren in affectionate terms ; and although he had a 
strong will and strict notions of right, he never grum- 
bled and his family government ran like clockwork. 
He always addressed his children and grandchildren 
in terms of endearment, such as Johnnie, Richey, etc. 
His honest, genial smile was but the outward expres- 
sion of a heart of perpetual sunshine. He was a sub- 
ject of saving grace ; but having been reared under 
Baptist influence, while his wives were Methodists 
(for he was twice married), he hesitated in the selec- 
tion of a Church, intending to join some Church, but 
died suddenly without taking that step. 

One of Richard Price's sons, Thomas, spent much 
of his life as a man of the world, but when somewhat 
advanced in age he became a Christian (Campbellite) 
preacher. He had eight sons that served in the War 
between the States— four on one side and four on the 
other. All of them were either killed or died in the 
army. Thomas Price after marriage became a citi- 
zen of Kentucky, where he died. 

William Price, another son of Richard Price, lived 
and died in Russell County, Va. He was a man of 
sprightly intellect, and was an able speaker. He ran 
for Congress at the time of the nullification controver- 
sy in South Carolina, and his espousal of the cause of 
nullification defeated him. On the eve of his removal 
to Missouri he was called to a better country, but left 
a will that compelled his family to go to Missouri. 
His son John was an able lawyer, and occupied the 
bench for some years. He was a colonel in General 


Price's army. Another son of Richard Price, Crab- 
tree, moved to Springfield, Mo.. % His son, William Ce- 
cil Price, was an eminent lawyer, a judge, a colonel 
in General Price's army, and Treasurer of the United 
States under President Buchanan. Of him the Chi- 
cago Tribune of March 26, 1899, remarked as follows : 

Judge William C. Price, ' once the idol of the Southern 
Confederacy, cordially hated by the abolitionists of ante helium 
times, and Treasurer of the United States during the last 
years of President Buchanan's administration, lives in a 
homelike, well-appointed, and cozy little flat on the North Side. 
He will be eighty-four years old the first day of next month ; 
and though his bodily infirmities keep him indoors, his eye is 
as clear and his mind as undimmed as they were a half century 
ago, when he led his fellow countrymen of the South into the 
losing side of the great struggle. He declares himself unre- 
constructed, unconvinced, and, therefore, unrepentant — one of 
the last real simon-pure fire eaters of the old Confederates. 
He is proud of the title of "the last of the Caesars" bestowed 
upon him at one time by Plenry Watterson, who greatly ad- 
mired the sturdy old statesman of the Confederacy. Judge 
Price believes as firmly that slavery is a divine institution as 
he did when he turned over the keys of the United States 
Treasury to Abraham Lincoln after the latter, recognizing his 
sterling honesty, had offered him a reappointment to the place. 
He is a spirit that knows no compromise, and this is particu- 
larly true where a matter of principle is at stake. It would 
be as impossible to convince the old gentleman that he was 
wrong on the slavery question as it would be to convince him 
that the Lake Shore drive and Lake Michigan, which he looks 
out upon daily, is the old homestead in Springfield, Mo., 
where he spent the greater part of his public career. 

John W. Price was a man of good primary English 
education, such as the common schools of the country 
afforded at the time. His knowledge of his mother 

(CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 33 1 

tongue, though not extensive, was critical and accu- 
rate as far* as it went. His knowledge of the English 
language was sufficiently accurate and his general 
reading sufficiently extensive to cause him to feel at 
home in the best-educated circles. In his younger 
days he taught school and was in demand as a teach- 
er in the primary branches. He had received a large 
part of his education under Mr. Will Webb, a brainy 
Englishman who lived and taught at Elk Garden. The 
genius of this brilliant Englishman afterwards out- 
cropped in his lineal descendants, William Elbert Mun- 
sey and Will Webb Bays. Mr. Webb wrote a beauti- 
ful hand, almost as regular and legible as print. John 
W. Price acquired that hand, and his writing was al- 
ways admired, H # e once executed a legal document, 
which is perhaps now on file in the County Court Clerk's 
office of Russell County, Va., the handwriting of which 
has been much admired. An intelligent man of ex- 
perience was heard to say that it was the most beau- 
tiful specimen of chirography he had ever seen. 

He kept himself well informed on the political is- 
sues of the country, and the Hon. Lafayette McMullin 
once said that he was a strong tower of Democracy. 
He had a legal turn of mind, delighted in the study 
of law, and was well versed in the statutes of his 
State. He was a lifelong justice of the peace, and was 
for many years a member of the County Court of 
Washington County, *Va. His advice in matters of 
business was often sought by his neighbors. 

I scarcely know what to say of him as a farmer. 
I Would- say of him that he was not a first-class farmer. 
Witfe two or three families of negroes and twelve 


hundred acres of fertile lands in Russell and Wash- 
ington Counties, which would now sell for" a hundred 
and twenty thousand dollars, he ought to have made 
large profits ; but this he did not' do. He was indul- 
gent to his servants: they worked neither early nor 
late. His granaries and meat house were never locked ; 
his lands were never cultivated in the best style of 
the art. But these disadvantages were offset by his 
shrewd business talent, his marvelous knowledge of 
human nature, his capacity for utilizing the skill and 
industry of his numerous tenants, his excellent judg- 
ment of live stock, and his trading ability. Where 
there are negroes there is always waste; but he was 
able to keep out of debt, to lay up a little money, and 
to give his children a college education. His daugh- 
ters had good educational advantages, and his sons 
were allowed to go to school as long as they pleased. 

Himself not a classical scholar, he was a lifelong 
patron of the higher education. He was one of the 
charter members of Emory and Henry College, the 
first President of its Board of Trustees, and a mem- 
ber of the board as long as his health allowed. 

His servants had great confidence in him and re- 
spect for him. He never struck one of them a blow, old 
or young. His older servants never intentionally dis- 
obeyed him, and he turned the colored children over 
to the tender mercies of their mothers, often not very 
tender. He was not in the habit of doing manual la- 
bor himself. A neighbor complained to Dick, one of 
Mr. Price's negro men, that his master did not labor 
with his hands. The negro replied: "Yes, sir; but 
when the hands of some men get tired, they are done." 

CONFERENCES OF l862 AND 1863. 333 

Mr. Price's sons used to invite their fellow students of 
Emory and Henry College home with them. One day, 
as the company were passing from the sitting room 
into the dining room, Dick observed closely the hand- 
somely dressed young men ; and when they had passed 
out of hearing, he remarked : "They don't need brains 
these days to make a man ; all they need is the frame. 
In the days when old master was young these young 
men would have been idiots." Dick indeed was the 
wit of the family. One day during a six weeks' 
drought, by which the corn of the country was shriv- 
eling and dying, Dr. Sneed passed by a cornfield where 
Dick was plowing, and inquired: "Dick, is your mas- 
ter's corn suffering?" "No, Doctor," said Dick with 
a tone of sadness ; "done sufferin'." 

Mr. Price's politics and business affairs were to him 
secondary to his religion. He was an authority on 
Christian doctrine and Church polity. He often dis- 
cussed religious questions with his neighbors, with 
visitors, and even with ministers of the gospel. Dr. 
Wiley once preached a sermon at Kelly's Chapel, the 
place where Mr. Price held his membership, in which 
he took the ground that the materials of the dead body 
would not enter into the resurrection body — in other 
words, that the resurrection will not be literal. As 
Mr. Price and the preacher rode away from the church, 
Dr. Wiley inquired of him how he liked his view of 
the resurrection, when Mr. Price replied : "They have 
taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have 
laid him." Dr. Wiley saw the point, and in relating 
the conversation he remarked that he never preached 
that doctrine afterwards. 


Mr. Price was a friend of the poor and the laboring 
man. He granted to many poor men the privilege of 
cutting logs and building cabins on his farms for mod- 
est homes. In this way his farm in Washington Coun- 
ty was dotted over with log cabins. He made it a rule 
to try to bring to a knowledge of salvation through 
Christ all his tenants and their families, and he gen- 
erally succeeded. These people rarely attended church 
at first, pleading the excuse of lacking suitable cloth- 
ing in which to appear in public. To obviate this dif- 
ficulty he carried the gospel to them by holding prayer 
meetings from house to house in their humble homes. 
Through the instrumentality of these meetings scores 
of people were saved. A revolutionary soldier and his 
wife lived in one of these cabins. The veteran was an 
avowed infidel ; but by special personal instruction from 
Mr. Price he and his wife were brought to Christ, and 
both died rejoicing in the light of redeeming grace. 
Often when a preacher came to spend the night Mr. 
Price would send an invitation to his tenants, turn one 
of his rooms into a chapel, improvising seats, and thus 
gave them an opportunity to hear preaching. His serv- 
ices to others were sometimes rewarded by a rich ex- 
perience of divine blessing in himself. He was so 
filled with the Spirit at one of the cabin prayer meet- 
ings that when he and his wife were returning home 
he did not recognize his own fields, and asked her 
whose land they were passing over, and then asked 
what was growing on it. Returning from one of these 
meetings one night, this God-intoxicated man did not 
recognize his own dogs which ran to meet and welcome 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 335 

Mr. Price persistently declined to be licensed as a 
local preacher or even as an exhorter, but he was al- 
ways ready to speak a word for his Master. The only 
offices in the Church which he would accept were those 
of steward and of class leader; but he always ex- 
horted at his class and prayer meetings, and I have 
known him to occupy the pulpit at camp meetings and 
speak an hour at a time, so that the common people 
thought that he was a preacher. His exhortations dis- 
played fancy, wit, wonderful emotionality, and not in- 
frequently genuine eloquence and spiritual power. 

His genial, fun-loving spirit permeated his whole 
life and made him a most desirable companion, and his 
fund of anecdotes seemed inexhaustible. His terse, 
epigrammatic sayings fastened themselves on the mem- 
ory of those who heard him, so that they are repeated 
to this day by the children and grandchildren of the 
men of his generation. At one time he assisted the 
Rev. Noah Baldwin, a Baptist preacher, in a revival 
meeting. On the last Sunday of the meeting Mr. Bald- 
win administered the Lord's Supper to his people, in- 
viting to the table only Baptists. Mr. Price retired to 
the rear of the church as a mere spectator of this sol- 
emn service; but afterwards he rebuked the preacher, 
saying: "What would you think of me if I were to in- 
vite you to a log-rolling, and, after you had labored 
side by side with me all day, I should sit down at my 
table to eat without inviting you to partake with me ?" 

For twenty years or more before his death Mr. 
Price had on his neck an ulcer which eventually caused 
his death. Once a neighbor said to him, after they 
had spent an hour in jovial conversation : "Mr. Price, 


I don't see how you can be so cheerful when you know 
you have to die." He replied: "How can you be so 
cheerful when you know you have to die ?" 

He was called upon to decide a question of owner- 
ship between a Mr. Debusk and his servant Dick. Dur- 
ing a freshet in the river Dick had rescued a tub 
which had floated with the drift down the stream. Mr. 
Debusk and Dick both claimed the tub, but referred 
the dispute to Mr. Price. He said: "Dick, suppose 
Debusk's wife had floated down, and you had gotten 
her out. Whose wife would she be?" Dick replied: 
"Take the tub, Mr. Debusk ; take the tub." A friend 
riding with him one day said : "Brother Price, when I 
come to a bad road, I let my horse choose his way. Do 
you?" "Yes," he replied; "if I think my horse has 
more sense than I have." 

My father had his faults. I heard him say that my 
mother had never spoken an unkind word to him. She 
could not have said as much for him, although he loved 
her with an unfailing devotion and was almost uni- 
formly sweet in temper, cheerful and optimistic. He 
exercised an unstinted hospitality. He never turned a 
traveler from his door, and visitors were always abun- 
dantly welcome at his house, and they did not stay too 
long for him. He never made a bill against a traveler. 
One reason why he did not make greater profits as a 
farmer and business man was his devotion to evangel- 
istic work. As a revivalist and lay evangelist he de- 
serves to be compared with Carvosso. So much of his 
time was given to attending camp meetings, quarterly 
meetings, and revival meetings of his own and other 
denominations, as well as to private efforts for the 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 337 

enlightenment and salvation of his neighbors, that his 
business was necessarily neglected. When he first re- 
moved to the Washington County farm Methodism 
was scarcely known in that section, but when he died 
it was one of the strongest Methodist communities 
in the country. 

His funeral sermon was preached at the house by 
Dr. Wiley, and his remains were laid away in the fam- 
ily graveyard. In an obituary notice of Mr. Price, Dr. 
Wiley said : 

The subject of this sketch was a remarkable man and 
would have been thus considered in any circle in which he 
might have moved. Born and reared in the county of Russell, 
in Southwestern Virginia, having but few advantages of early 
culture, such as schools afford, he acquired, nevertheless, a 
knowledge of men and things, especially divine things, such 
as few men attain. He was endowed with intellect of high 
order and superior discriminative powers ; . . . and facts 
which most men would have passed by as unimportant inci- 
dents, apparently trivial in their character, often led him to con- 
clusions both just and accurate, so much so that his declarations 
on some subjects were sometimes regarded as closely allied to 
the prophetic. On the evening before his death, when "his 
wife brought his supper to him, he remarked, 'This is my last 
supper," although he seemed not unusually ill. 

Not only in matters of business and in temporal and per- 
sonal interests did he employ his gifts — nor did he use them 
here as most would have done, for he might with his rare 
powers have acquired a large fortune — but especially in spir- 
itual things, in things pertaining to God, he was wonderfully 
sagacious and profound. He was a man of great faith, a 
buoyant Christian hope, and power with God. . . . 

It was not merely by searching the Scriptures, but by a long 
and trying experience that he was made acquainted with the 
truth. I find in a journal which he kept for several years, 
both before and after he professed religion, accounts of fear- 



ful heart struggles, signal defeats, and triumphs in his con- 
tests with the man of sin. Sometimes in these mental con- 
flicts, under deep conviction for sin, he would become helpless 
and lie for hours unable to move. Light would finally break in 
on his darkness, and his joys he describes as ineffable. 

He was perfectly conscious while dying, and he died 
with Scripture sentences on his lips. His last words 
were, "The rock! the rock!" evidently meaning the 
Rock of Ages. 

Mrs. Mary Price, wife of John W. Price, the oldest 
child of Capt. Joseph Miller and Susannah Lyons, was 
born in Washington County, Va., March 3, 1802 ; and 
died at her residence, near Glade Spring, Va., Septem- 
ber 1, 1886. Her grandmother on her father's side was 
a McHenry, probably a sister of the Rev. Barnabas 
McHenry. She professed religion and joined the 
Methodist Church in her twentieth year, and was unit- 
ed in holy wedlock to John Wesley Price August 12, 
1823. She was the mother of ten children. All be- 
came members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, and were reared to years of maturity except 
one, who died in boyhood. Her three sons that at- 
tained manhood became ministers of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South. Two of them (1911) are 
still alive. Three of her daughters married Methodist 
preachers. A professor of religion for more than 
threescore years, she was never known to say or do 
anything inconsistent with her profession, to be under 
a spiritual cloud, or to express a doubt of her filial re- 
lation to God. Her constancy in faith and hope can 
be attributed, under the sovereign grace of God, only 
to the thoroughness of her conversion and to her 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 339 

extraordinary devotion to the duties of the closet. She 
lived much of her time upon her knees. She was often 
overheard — not only while sick, but while well — pray- 
ing for her children and friends by name. This was 
especially true when she was confined to her bed in 
her last days. In her prime she was a faithful church- 
goer and an attentive and intelligent hearer of the 
word. She always spoke favorably of the preacher 
and the sermon. No sermon was so poor or dry that 
it had not food for her soul. When after preaching 
some one would criticize the sermon unfavorably in her 
presence, she would say, "If we will only do as the 
preacher advised us to do, it will be well with us," or 
make some other similar remark. Her education was 
limited, but she was a diligent reader. She had a 
strong, philosophical mind, reasoned safely, and could 
enter into the spirit of the profoundest discourses, 
written or spoken. In her old age she was an almost 
incessant reader, and her understanding remained 
vigorous to the last. She had a laudable ambition, es- 
pecially with reference to her family ; and when her 
sons were promoted, it gave her great satisfaction. 
When it was announced to her that her son William 
had been appointed presiding elder, she remarked: 
"That is next to bishop." She was a woman of even 
temper. She was patient, industrious, unselfish. "She 
opened her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue was 
the law of kindness." Yet she was candid and inflex- 
ibly honest and truthful. 

She loved the Church and the minister with a love 
that never wavered. Her faith in God never stag- 
gered. In her religion she was not noisy nor demon- 


strative, though she was always ready to give a reason 
for the hope that was in her. Her experience was 
deep and intense. No one's religion was farther from 
cant or pretense; it was lived rather than professed. 
She never fretted, never disobeyed her husband or 
spoke an unkind word to T him. in his lifetime. She had 
a tender and merciful concern for everybody, and 
could not bear to see cruelty inflicted on any living 
creature. She indulged to a fault in leniency toward 
others, and performed many an act of drudgery rather 
than require it of her children or servants. I say 
"fault," for this was a real fault. She did much drudg- 
ery with her own hands that should have devolved on 
her servants. Bating the fault to which I have re- 
ferred, she was a model mistress of slaves in the days 
of slavery. She did to them that which was "just and 
equal," and they reposed perfect confidence in her as a 
woman and Christian. She was to them a mother rath- 
er than a mistress. She never commanded them to do 
anything, but always requested them as gently as if 
she were asking a favor. Tributes of unrestrained and 
undimmed honor were rendered to her all along life 
by all who knew her, white or colored, rich or poor. 
Such a life of godliness and sweet deeds of love left 
its legitimate hallowed influence upon her household, 
who still cherish her memory as that of a precious 
mother who was "blameless and harmless" and a child 
of God "without rebuke." She was timid and mod- 
est in expressions relating to her own experience. But 
when she saw the last hour approaching, she volun- 
teered to open her heart to her family more freely than 
was her wont. The second day before she died she 

CONFERENCES OF 1 862 AND 1 863. 34 1 

said to her son, Dr. William Price : "Well, I have been 
living a long time, so as to be ready for this time." 
Dr. Price said : "Mother, do you feel that all is well ?" 
She replied: "Yes; I have no fears. But I think a 
body ought to keep on praying, and I want all the 
children to help me. When I set out to be religious, I 
resolved to try to pray on my knees every three hours. 
I have tried to keep up that habit; but, of course, a 
part of the time I have been sick and could not kneel, 
and had to pray in bed." 

She also said to her son that in reviewing her life 
she feared that she had done wrong in one respect: 
she feared that she had made a difference between the 
rich and the poor, that she had not been as kind to the 
poor as she ought to have been. This confession was 
the more remarkable, as the poor were never turned 
away empty from her door, and she always treated 
them as courteously as if they had been princes and 

She who had never wantonly inflicted pain on others 
deserved what she had — a quiet and painless depar- 
ture. There was no scorching fever nor racking pain, 
so gently did God let her down into the sweet rest of 
the grave. She sleeps in the family graveyard, await- 
ing the resurrection of the just. 

The Conference met in its fortieth session in Wythe- 
ville, Va., October 7, 1863, Bisjiop Early President, and 
E. E. Wiley and W. W. Neal Secretaries. 

In regard to the disciplinary cases, I quote from the 
Journal as follows : 

The cases of Laurence M. Renfro, Jesse G. Swisher, W. H. 
Rogers, and William Milburn were referred to the following 


committee, James S. Kennedy, A. G. Worley, E. E. Wiley, J. 
M. McTeer, and G. Taylor, for the purpose of eliciting infor- 
mation and reporting to this body. ... 

The cases of William Robeson, John W. Mann, J. L. 
Mann, and S. B. Harwell were referred to the committee in 
the cases of L. M. Renfro, J. G. Swisher, and others. . . . 

The case of Thomas H. Russell was referred to the commit- 
tee in the cases of L. M. Renfro and others. 

James S. Kennedy being requested by the Conference to 
present a course of action, proper to be pursued, in the case of 
William G. E. Cunnyngham, offered the following, which was 
adopted : 

"Whereas Rev. W. G. E. Cunnyngham, missionary to 
China, is represented as having returned from China to the 
United States in December, 1861, and is now known to be in 
Kentucky; and whereas he has not, in the knowledge of this 
Conference, made any attempt to get out of the Federal lines 
into the bounds of our Conference, and has made no commu- 
nication whatever to this body, nor to the bishop having charge 
of the China Mission, touching himself and family and his 
.present relations to the unhappy controversy now dividing the 
country; and whereas this Conference feels itself obliged to 
guard carefully the purity and consistency of its members and 
with all the light and facts now before us is unable to act at 
all on the passage of his character with safety and propriety 
either to themselves or the Church the}' represent — therefore 
be it 

"Resolved, That the whole matter be referred to the pre- 
siding elder of the Abingdon District for investigation; and 
that his character be not passed pending the investigation of 
the facts. James S. Kennedy, Committee." 

Question 15. Are all the preachers blameless in their life 
and official administration? Answer: Their names were 
called, one by one, and their characters examined and passed, 
except those of Jonathan L. Mann, W. H. Rogers, William 
Milburn, and W. H. H. Dugga'n, who were expelled from the 
Church, and W. G. E. Cunnyngham, who was referred to the 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 343 

presiding elder of the Abingdon District, and Thomas H. Rus- 
sell, who was referred to the presiding elder of the district in 
which he may live. 

. It appears that the minutes of the session were 
copied into the Journal by the Rev. Jacob R. Payne. 
Only a part of the Thursday proceedings are recorded, 
and the Journal contains this certificate : 

At this point in the minutes I find a hiatus or break, owing 
to a loss of a part of the papers of the Secretary of this session. 
The papers were lost during the war. 

J. R. Payne, Assistant Secretary, 1866. 

At the close of the Friday morning minutes Mr. 
Payne has another certificate as follows: 

At this point the regular daily proceedings, as reported by 
the Secretary, end; and in order to make a partial record, at 
least, we are compelled to take the report of proceedings pre- 
pared by a committee of publication, although out of form for 
this Journal. Assistant Secretary, 1866. 

Fortunately, this abstract of the proceedings to 
which Mr. Payne refers has rescued from oblivion 
what would otherwise have been lost. 

The writer attended this Conference, having missed 
the Conferences of 1861 and 1862. As soon as a mo- 
tion was made to arrest the character of certain Un- 
ion preachers, L arose and spoke substantially as fol- 

Bishop, I wish at this point in our proceedings to define 
my position on the question now before us. In my opinion, the 
Conference has no jurisdiction over purely political questions. 
We have a right to inquire into a preacher's moral character, 
but with his political opinions and his political actions we have 
nothing to do. Our preachers honestly differ in politics, and 
they have a right to differ. I take the ground that as long as 


our preachers who favor the Union maintain a good moral 
character and faithfully discharge their duties as Methodist 
preachers according to our book of Discipline we have no 
right to inflict on them any censure or any disabilities. We 
are an ecclesiastical, not a political, body; and we have no 
jurisdiction over political questions proper. I differ in senti- 
ment with the brethren whom you propose to deal with. I 
am sorry that they do not think as I do, but I believe that to 
arrest their character upon political grounds will, be doing 
them an injustice and will injure the cause which we propose 
to benefit. 

This is in substance what I said. I was young and 
had not been in the habit of making speeches on the 
Conference floor. I saw no signs of sympathy with 
my views in the body, although there may have been 
more of it than was apparent on the surface ; but no 
member of the body publicly expressed any sympathy 
with these views during the entire session. The Bish- 
op summarily shoved aside my opposition and ruled 
that the Conference had a right to arrest the character 
of any preacher who sympathized with the Union 
cause. During the session I urged my views again 
and again, but seemingly to no purpose. When mo- 
tions were made for the expulsion of certain brethren, 
I objected on the ground that we had no legal right 
to punish them without giving them due notice of com- 
plaints and without according to them the privilege of 
a regular trial; but the Bishop ruled that they could 
be tried then and there, and Jonathan L. Mann, Wil- 
liam H. Rogers, William Milburn, and W. H. H. Dug- 
gan were expelled from the Church by mere resolution. 

When it was proposed to arrest the character of 
Dr. Cunnyngham on the ground of the uncertainty of 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 345 

his political attitude, I arose and stated that his wife 
had written to her friends in Abingdon, as they had in- 
formed me, and had stated that the family were not 
permitted to pass through the lines, and that they were 
boarding with Mrs. Tevis. I also stated that Mrs. 
Tevis was known to be a Union woman, and that Mrs. 
Cunnyngham stated in the letter referred to that, al- 
though Dr. Cunnyngham and herself differed in po- 
litical sentiment from Mrs. Tevis, the two families 
were living together harmoniously. I claimed that this 
statement should settle the question of Dr. Cunnyng- 
ham's political soundness; and while I did not think 
that a settlement of that question should have had any 
bearing on the question of passing his character, I was 
glad to. furnish the information, hoping that it might 
save him from the mortification of having his charac- 
ter arrested and referred to a committee of investiga- 
tion. But my statement of fact had about as much 
weight as my statement of opinion had had. As evi- 
dence of the correctness of my statement in regard to 
Dr. Cunnyngham, I copy the following editorial para- 
graph from the Southern Advocate of November 6, 
1862, published at Bristol and edited by the Rev. W. 
W. Neal, of the Holston Conference : 

Rev. W. G. E. Cunnyngham. — This interesting Christian 
minister has been for ten years missionary to China from the 
Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 
Since the war commenced, he arrived in the United States and 
desired to visit his friends in Virginia and Tennessee. He was 
informed that he could not be allowed to come unless he would 
first take the oath of allegiance to Lincoln's government. He 
remonstrated with the authorities, assuring them that he had 
been preaching the gospel to the heathen in a far distant land, 


that he had taken no part in the strife of this country, and 
hoped to be excused. He was then rudely informed that an 
angel from heaven should not pass the lines without taking 
the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government. This pure, 
spiritual man was forbidden to visit the land of his birth and 
the home of his friends. He passed the Chinese and the 
Egyptians, the simooms and the seas, to find himself a prisoner 
among the Christians of the North. 

There had been no motion to expel or otherwise 
punish Dr. Cunnyngham. There was, however, a mo- 
tion to refer his case to the presiding elder of the Ab- 
ingdon District, and this motion prevailed. It was 
this motion which I resisted. The Rev. Frank Rich- 
ardson has always claimed to have been opposed to 
the prosecution of the Union men, and I have reason 
to believe that several others who were present at the 
Conference of 1863 would have spoken against those 
measures if they had spoken at all ; but with Bishop 
Early in the chair and the majority of the Conference 
in sympathy with him, they could not but see that argu- 
ment on the conservative side of the question would be 
a waste of words. 

I remember a conversation which I had with Wil- 
liam C. Bowman on the day when the expulsions took 
place. As we walked out of the Conference room on 
our way to our staying places, he said to me : "Broth- 
er Price, I have generally agreed with you. You have 
usually been right, but in this instance you are wrong." 
I replied : "Brother Bowman, when the war is over, it 
matters not how it results, you will see that I am right. 
By this day's work we have lost in Holston at least 
ten thousand members." 

After the war was over I was found in the pastoral 

CONFERENCES OF l862 AND 1863. 347 

work of the Southern Methodist Church, fighting rad- 
icalism at the other end of the line ; while W. C. Bow- 
man was editing a Republican paper at Bakersville, 
N. C. 
. I find the following entry in the Journal : 

E. E. Wiley, Treasurer x>f the Board of Trustees of Emory 
and Henry College, proposed to pay the debt due the Preach- 
ers' Aid Society of the Conference by the college; but the 
Conference declined to receive the money, preferring that the 
college should have the use of it for the present. 

To the uninitiated this declinature may look strange. 
The unselfishness and kind indulgence of the Confer- 
ence toward its college will provoke a smile when it is 
remembered that at that period Confederate currency 
was at a heavy discount. 

Among the visitors of the Conference was the Rev. 
Jacob Ditzler, of the St. Louis Conference. He 
preached during the session, and he impressed the Con- 
ference as a man of wonderful resources of talent and 
learning. He seemed to have been an omnivorous 
reader and to possess a remarkable memory, especially 
as to names and dates. In a debate at one time with 
the Rev. Dr. J. R. Graves, of the Baptist Church, on 
the subject of baptism he displayed great learning and 
logical power and held his own very well with that 
polemical giant. 

The Committee on Education reported that the in- 
terests of education within the bounds of the Confer- 
ence were suffering greatly in consequence of the na- 
tional troubles ; that Emory and Henry continued sus- 
pended, with no prospect of reopening- until the close 
of the war; that the buildings were being used for a 


Confederate hospital ; that Holston Conference Female 
College, at Asheville, opened the spring session March 
12; that during the past five months six teachers were 
employed and about seventy pupils were in attendance ; 
that the summer session opened July 31, with about 
the same number of pupils; and that the President, 
Dr. Cummings, had resigned th'e presidency, his resig- 
nation to take effect at the close of the session. The 
committee also reported that the buildings of the Ath- 
ens Female College were being used for hospital pur- 
poses; that Martha Washington College was progres- 
sing, with eighty or ninety pupils, and that the Presi- 
dent had asked for the appointment of an agent to 
raise funds for the payment of the debt incurred in 
the purchase of the property. 

The report was adopted, and John Boring was ap- 
pointed Agent of Martha Washington College. 

The committee on the Holston Journal reported 
that the committee appointed at the last session made a 
contract with Rev. C. W. Charlton for the publication 
of a strictly religious paper at three dollars a year to 
the subscriber, that they were highly pleased with the 
mechanical execution of the paper, gratified with its 
editorial management and subject matter with the ex- 
ception of a few articles, and that they were truly sor- 
ry when it became necessary for the editor to suspend 
its publication. 

David Worth, Johnston Perkins, and Abram Weaver 
were appointed trustees of a house and lot in Jeffer- 
son, Ashe County, N. C, bequeathed to the Confer- 
ence by Mrs*. Rachel Waugh', deceased, her husband, 
J. P. Waugh, Esq., having signified his readiness to 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 349 

make a deed to the property. This house and lot fur- 
nished the basis of what was afterwards known as the 
Waugh Fund. 

Admitted on trial: George W. Martin, George Spake. 

Readmitted: Abram Weaver (late of the North Carolina 
Conference), W. H. Cooper, Frank Richardson, William 
Gaines Miller (a transfer as a preacher on trial). 

Located : Mitchell P. Swaim, Josiah Torbett, William H. 

Superannuated: D. Fleming, R. M. Stevens, William Robe- 
son, T. Sullins, D. B. Carter, W. B. Winton, T. K. Munsey, 
R. W. Patty, J. Haskew, James Cumming, John Alley, Hardy 
M. Bennett, George M. Proffitt, S. B. Harwell. 

Expelled : Jonathan L. Mann, W. H. Rogers, William Mil- 
burn, W. H. H. Duggan. 

Died : Samuel A. Miller, W. W. Smith. 

Numbers in society: White, 46,887; colored, 4,849. Total, 


Local preachers, 337; traveling preachers, 119. 

Collected for missions, $12,975.95. 

Number of Sunday schools, 145 ; officers and teachers, 443 ; 
pupils, 5,062; volumes in library, 10, 810. 

Jonathan L. Mann, of whom I knew but little per- 
sonally, has been represented to me as a man of rath- 
er superior intellect and of some literary attainments. 
As a young preacher he was quite promising. He was 
a brother of John W. Mann, but more positive and 
more pugnacious. He remained in East Tennessee a 
few years after the war, and traveled in the Holston 
Conference (North). For some time after the war 
he was a newspaper correspondent, and kept up a fu- 
sillade on the "rebel" preachers ; but before he left the 
section he became more pacific. Some one, observing 
the change, asked him one day why he had quit contro- 


verting, and he replied : "There is no sense in being 
always a fool." He eventually went West, and I have 
lost sight of him. 

William H. Rogers, son of the Rev. Das well Rog- 
ers, was probably born in Sequatchee Valley, some 
twenty miles east of Jasper, Tenn. He was brainy but 
eccentric. His principal faults were vanity and affec- 
tation. He had an affected style of delivery — a mock 
solemnity that greatly impaired the usefulness of his 
sermons, exhortations, and conversations. But he was 
well read, and his mind was stored with general in- 
formation. He was robust in body, above the average 
in size and strength, though not corpulent. He had a 
strong voice, a ready utterance, some imagination, and 
sometimes preached a sermon of real eloquence. He 
was not wanting in wit and sarcasm.. During the 
.progress of a revival at Bethcar church, in Jefferson 
County, Tenn., he happened in one evening, and was 
requested to preach. When he arose to begin the serv- 
ice, the audience, dissatisfied with the change of preach- 
ers, began to shuffle their feet oh the floor and to clear 
up their throats very vigorously, when the preacher re- 
marked: "Brethren, I perceive that while you have 
been listening to the gems of truth which have fallen 
from the lips of the preacher who has been conducting 
the services you have taken severe colds." This witty 
rebuke quieted the opposition. 

Mr. Rogers once attended a meeting conducted by 
Jesse Hyden and myself in Cleveland, Tenn. One day 
he requested us to take a walk, with him, which we 
did. After a walk of half a mile, he turned to us and 
remarked in his peculiarly solemn and affected style: 

CONFERENCES OF 1 862 AND 1863. 35 1 

"Young brothers, I love you, and I admire your gifts ; 
but in all kindness I wish to admonish you that in your 
style of preaching there is not enough of the suaviter. 
in modo." The point was well taken. At the Con- 
ference of 1854 he introduced a resolution against the 
marriage of preachers who had not completed the 
Conference course of study, or rather had not traveled 
four years. As soon as the resolution was read, a mo- 
tion was made to tslble it. A loud concert of seconds 
came from the bachelors of the Conference, and to the 
table went the resolution. Before the vote was put he 
made substantially the following speech : "Bishop, I do 
not wish to be understood in this resolution as reflect- 
ing on the women. No. God bless the women ! My 
mother was a woman." These anecdotes cannot be 
appreciated by those who' do not recall the solemn man- 
ner, rolling eyes, and sanctimonious tone of the speak- 
er. The manner is the main point in them. 

Hurd Rogers, as he was generally named, was a 
good-natured man,- a man full of charity. He readily 
forgave his enemies and seldom spoke evil of any man. 
The latter part of his life was peculiarly full of sun- 
shine, and nothing but kind words for his brethren fell 
from his lips. 

William Milburn was quite an effective preacher. 
He was something of a son of thunder. He was al- 
ways serious in his deportment. His studies were 
mainly confined to the Bible. He believed in its teach- 
ings with all his heart, and he spoke in the pulpit with 
that confidence which always secures results. 

I knew very little of Mr. Duggan. I remember him 
as a large, corpulent man. As a preacher he had a 


strong voice and rapid utterance. He was a revivalist. 
He was more fluent than philosophical. He was a man 
of fine social instincts, loquacious but not garrulous. I 
have heard an anecdote of him to this effect : Near the 
beginning of the war he and another preacher of 
Southern sentiments were holding a meeting together. 
They united in urging sinners to come to Christ. The 
Southern preacher exhorted the sinners to secede 
from the world, the flesh, and the devil;. while Mr. 
Duggan exhorted them to hasten to form a union with 
all good Christians in the service of Jesus Christ. 

While the war was in progress peaceable citizens of 
both parties should have been permitted to remain at 
home to take care of their families, but this was not 
always the case. The unwise representatives of both 
governments were often active in arresting such citi- 
zens and hurrying them off to prison. Against this 
policy the better class of both parties protested. The 
Hon. Robertson Topp, of Memphis, a Confederate of 
high standing with the authorities, under date of Octo- 
ber 26, 1861, in a letter to Robert Gosselyn, intended 
for President Davis, says : 

More than one hundred persons have been arrested in East 
Tennessee, without warrants in some cases, marched great 
distances, and carried into court on no other charge than that 
they were Union men. In one case an old man named Duggan, 
a Methodist preacher, was arrested, carried fifty miles on foot 
(he being a large, fleshy man), refused the privilege of riding 
his own horse; and all they had against him was that in Feb- 
ruary, last, he had prayed for the Union. ... Just as the 
poeple were quieting down, getting reconciled, raising volun- 
teers, etc., they commenced these arrests, which have gone far 
to poison the minds of the people against the government ; and 
if tolerated and persisted in, the people of that end of the 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 353 

State at a critical moment will rise up enemies instead of 
friends. You ask me : "Who makes these arrests ?" As far as 
I can learn, they are instigated by a few malicious, trouble- 
some men in and around Knoxville. 

Yet the Confederate cause had to bear the oppro- 
brium occasioned by the malice and misconduct of 
these few malicious men. A similar apology may be 
offered for the outrages committed by the Union party. 

I am writing the history of Methodism from a 
Southern Methodist standpoint, and cannot promise 
to give a thorough history of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in East Tennessee and adjacent sections of Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina after the organization of its 
Holston Conference in 1864. But a symmetrical his- 
tory of the Holston Conference, South, cannot be 
given without reference to the Holston Conference 
(North). As soon as the Federal forces took posses- 
sion of East Tennessee, Methodist preachers and people 
in sympathy with the Union cause began to hold meet- 
ings and to organize classes and Sunday schools. On 
the 27th of May, 1864, some of the leading spirits — 
W. G. Brownlow, J. Albert Hyden, E. E. Gillenwaters, 
W: T. Dowell, James Cumming, T. H. Russell, W. H. 
Rogers, and David Fleming — through the Knoxville 
Whig, issued a call for a convention of what they 
termed loyal Methodists— loyal to the Union, not to 
the State of Tennessee — to take counsel together as 
to what course it was best for them to pursue.- 

The convention met in the Protestant Episcopal 
church in Knoxville July 7, 1864. The following per- 
sons were present as delegates: Messrs. James Mur- 
phy, James S. Hunt, F. Rule, D. B. Hunt, J. A. Ruble, 


Sr., A. R. Byington, Andrew Hutsell, J. W. Gibson, 
Elias Gibson, Dr. James Mahoney, James Baker, Alex 
Kennedy, William H. Hawk, G. W. Hawk, J. B. Sharp, 
James Plumley, W. W. Hawes, Daniel P. Gass, W. H. 
Finley, Jacob French, Michael French, Henry Harri- 
son, William Cheney, W. H. Carter, J. H. Howell, 
Solomon Clapp, James Curry, James Grigsby, V. S. 
Lotspeich, A. C. E. Callen, J. C. Hankins, Benjamin 
Wells. There were also present the following minis- 
ters, local and tiaveling: Revs. E. E. Gillenwaters, 
W. G. Brownlow, J. Albert Hyden, W. H. Rogers, 
W. C. Daily, E. Still, John Bower, W. T. Dowell, E. 
A. Atlee, T. P. Rutherford, T. A. Cass, E. Stockbridge, 
J. F. Morrison, T. H. Russell, Henry Walker, William 
Crutchfield, Joseph Milburn, Spencer Henry, P. H. 
Reed, John Cox, James Cumming, William Cureton, 
R. G. Blackburn. 

The convention was organized by the election of 
E. E. Gillenwaters as Chairman and R. G. Blackburn 
as Secretary. By the proceedings of the convention 
it appears that Mr. Brownlow had recently visited 
Bishop Simpson at Philadelphia and Bishop Clark at 
Cincinnati, and that the Rev. W. C. Daily had already 
been directing the work of organization in a tentative 
way in Bradley and the other counties in Lower East 
Tennessee. It was about this time that he appointed 
a "United States quarterly meeting," to which refer- 
ence is made on another page. It was also made 
known that a canvass had been going on to ascertain 
the number of ministers in East Tennessee who were 
in sympathy with this movement of secession, and it 
was reported that sixty ordained ministers, traveling 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 355 

and local, were ready to enter the ranks of the pro- 
posed movement and sixty others unordained; also 
that about forty others, whom it had not been possible 
to see, could be counted on. A committee of eleven 
representative men, named the General Committee, 
was appointed, whose duty it was to report the line of 
action to be pursued. 
The committee reported in part as follows : 

Pursuant to public notice, a convention of loyal Methodist 
laymen and preachers, local and traveling, convened in the 
city of Knoxville, Tenn., on July 7, 1864, to take into consid- 
eration the wants, prospects, and interests of the Methodist 
Church within the bounds of the Holston Annual Conference. 
The undersigned, a General Committee to whom this subject 
was referred, have had the matter under serious and prayerful 
consideration, and beg leave to submit the following brief 
report : 

At an early period in this wicked rebellion the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, took her stand upon the treasonable 
and therefore false foundation of secession. Her pulpits 
bellowed with more terrific thunder on the side of disunion 
than those of almost any other Church, hurling fiery invec- 
tives at the Union and the North, carrying the most of her 
leading and influential ministers and members into the un- 
hallowed embrace of treason. Under the administration of 
this our former Church some of our ministers have been pro- 
scribed, some refused circuits and' stations, and others ex- 
pelled — all for opinion's sake and because they were loyal to 
the United States. We have determined, therefore, no longer 
to live under the iron rule of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, or to be associated in our Church relations with the 
men who control the interests of said Church and are likely to 
direct her future movements. 

It therefore remains for us and the loyal thousands of our 
brethren similarly situated to do one of three things: Either 
to remain in the wilderness (not of Judea, but of Dixie) and" 


wander off into the mountains of sin and unbelief, whence we 
came ; or, next, to form ourselves into a separate and inde- 
pendent organization ; or, last of all, to seek a reunion with 
the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, whose 
doctrine, usages, and faith are in accord with ours and in the 
enjoyment and practice of which we desire to live and die. 

We therefore report in favor of returning to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church and asking, most respectfully, to be recog- 
nized by her and provided for as the Holston Annual Confer- 
ence, giving our loyal preachers the lead in our new organi- 
zation, subject to the control and authority of the appointed 
heads of our Church in the United States and to her Disci- 

1. Resolved, That the rebellion of the Southern States 
against the government of the United States was without any 
just and sufficient cause, and therefore what has followed is 
without any foundation in right, justice, or laws of the land 
or in the wants and necessities of the people in this or any 
other country. 

2. Resolved, That all who willingly engaged in this rebel- 
lion have, in the eyes of the supreme laws of the land, in the 
judgment of all enlightened nations, and especially in the 
feelings of every loyal heart of this vast continent, forfeited 
all the rights, privileges, and immunities of the government of 
the United States. 

3. Resolved, That the loyal members and ministers of the 
Holston Annual Conference are entitled in law to all property 
belonging to said ecclesiastical organization, and, with the 
divine blessing, we intend to claim and hold the same and 
rebuild the waste places of Zion. 

4. Resolved, That the loyal people and preachers of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, within the bounds of the 
Holston Conference constitute said Church; and this con- 
vention, acting for said Church and people, hereby propose at 
the earliest day practicable to transfer the same to the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church in the United States; and that a com- 
mittee be appointed to complete the negotiations, subject to 
the approval of those transferred. 

CONFERENCES OF 1862 AND 1863. 357 

5. Resolved, That ministers having charge of circuits, sta- 
tions, and missions, and all who may have in the future, be 
instructed to propose to the Churches in their respective 
charges to change their Church relations from the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, by going en masse to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in the United States. 

/The report was unanimously adopted. 

The preachers and members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church have been accustomed to censure Bish- 
op Early, and justly too, for mixing politics and reli- 
gion in his administration during the war; but the 
Knoxville convention out-Heroded Herod along this 
line. It seemed to believe that the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church was the United States of America, and un- 
der this delusion proceeded to take steps not only for 
the confiscation of the property of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, but for the confiscation of the 
Church itself. 

It is not my purpose to write a treatise on logic, but 
I beg the privilege of turning aside a few moments to 
consider the logic of the deliverances of this conven- 
tion : The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, had for- 
feited its right to the property it held. How ? By re- 
bellion against the government of the United States. 
Forfeited to whom? Why, of course, to the injured 
party, the government of the United States. What 
right had the Methodist Episcopal Church to seize and 
hold this forfeited property? No right at all, unless 
it was the government of the United States. But it 
had a right to the property ; therefore it was the gov- 
ernment of the United States. Could Bishop Early 
himself have beaten this confusion of religion and poli- 
tics? ' 


Consider further the logic of the fourth resolution 
above: The Church, South, in Holston has forfeited 
all right to its property; the loyal people in Holston 
constitute that Church; therefore they, the loyal peo- 
ple, have no right to the property; and yet they pro- 
pose to claim and- hold it ; therefore they propose to 
claim and hold that to which they have no right. 

One of the most remarkable things in the action of 
the convention was the proposal to turn over to the 
Methodist Episcopal Church the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, in Holston en masse. Doubtless the 
extreme resolutions adopted by the convention were 
in part responsible for the attempts made in various 
parts of East Tennessee to exclude the preachers of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, from their 
own churches and parsonages, and for the intimidation 
and personal violence inflicted on some of them. 

A short time after the Conference of 1863, one of 
the pioneer women of Holston Methodism was called 
to her reward. She was the mother of the Rev. Samuel 
D. Gaines, of the Conference. 

Mary Moore Gaines was born in Stokes County, 
N. C, December 26, 1767; and died at her home, in 
Sullivan County, Tenn v November 5, 1863, in her 
ninety-sixth year. Her longevity was inherited; for 
her mother, Letitia Moore, died in the one hundred 
and eighth year of her age. Mary Moore was mar- 
ried to Ambrose Gaines January 9, 1792; and soon 
thereafter the couple removed to New River, in Wythe 
County, Va., where they lived a short time; thence 
they removed to Sullivan County, Tenn., and pur- 
chased a farm on Reedy Creek. At that time the In- 

CONFERENCES OF 1 862 AND 1 863. 359 

dians were troublesome, keeping the settlers in con- 
stant dread. Mr. Gaines built a comfortable cabin ; but 
one day, on returning home after a short absence, he and 
his wife found the cabin in ashes, with all its contents, 
except what the savages could carry away. They did 
not struggle long with the hardships of frontier life un- 
til the itinerant found his way to their humble home to 
break the bread of life to the few scattered inhab- 
itants. Mrs. Gaines, though reared a Primitive Bap- 
tist, attended upon the ministry of the word as preached 
by the Methodist preachers. The arrow of truth 
dipped in the blood of Jesus found a lodgment in her 
heart. She gave her hand to the Church and her heart 
to God. She was known to walk eight or ten miles to 
preaching. She frequently attended church at AcufFs 
Meetinghouse, which was two miles west of Blount- 
ville. She often listened to the melting appeals of 
Asbury, Lorenzo Dow, Granade, and others. 

The following incident occurred at Faust's Meet- 
inghouse: James Axley was holding a meeting there, 
and the Holy Spirit was doing its work of conviction 
and conversion. Among the many penitents crowding 
the altar was Miss Judith Gaines, a daughter of Mrs. 
Mary Gaines. In deep agony she sent up the cry : 
"God be merciful to me, a sinner !" Her mother, feel- 
ing apprehensive for her physical safety, applied the 
fan. Mr. Axley pushed her away, exclaiming: "You 
had better be there yourself. You have lost your re- 
ligion, or you would not be disturbing your daughter." 
This cutting remark caused her to weep. As soon as 
he discovered that he had wounded her feelings, his 
sarcasm was exchanged for tears of sympathy and an 


apology for his rudeness. The result was that he was 
cured of his rashness and she of her coldness, and in a 
few moments both were rejoicing together over the 
happy conversion of the penitent. 

"By their fruits ye shall know them." All of Mrs. 
Gaines's eight children became Christians and mem- 
bers of the Methodist Church. Her manner of enforc- 
ing discipline was firm but not, austere. A command 
once given had to be obeyed. When Samuel Gaines 
was about eight years old he one day heard his mother 
praying that her youngest son, Samuel, might become a 
preacher of the gospel. That prayer was answered. 

The Gaines home was a home for the preachers. 
There was a secret and indefinable charm hanging 
over it that made the sight of it peculiarly pleasing to 
those wayfaring pilgrims. In this abode of peace 
they were assured of a sincere and hearty welcome. 
She met with smiles at her door Craig, Patton, Cun- 
ningham, Ekin, Catlett, Fulton, Kelly, Stevens, and a 
host of others. "She stretched out her hands to the 
poor; yea, she reached forth her hands to the needy." 
When the wayfarer, friendless and -penniless, stopped 
at her door, she welcomed him, seated him at her ta- 
ble, and attended to his wants. She never turned one 
away empty. Her charity was the crowning virtue of 
her life. 

The evening she died she was seated upon a chair. 
She exclaimed : "Help me ! help me !" Asked what 
she wished, she replied : "Help me to praise the Lord !" 
When laid down, she drew but a breath and fell into 
the arms of Jesus. Her dust sleeps on the premises 
of John S. Gaines, Esq. 

The Conference of 1864. 

The Conference began its forty-first session in Bris- 
tol, Va., October 19, 1864, Bishop Early President, 
and James W. Dickey Secretary. 

I copy first the disciplinary action of the Conference 
as follows : 

The report of the committee called by the presiding elder of 
the Abingdon District in the case of W. G. E. Cunnyngham 
was presented and read, and his character was passed. . . 

J. G. Swisher, J. A. Hyden, J. W. Mann, James Atkins 
William Robeson, Thomas H. Russell, James Mahoney, J. H 
Brunner, David Fleming, Erastus Rowley, James dimming 
and S. B. Harwell were referred to a special committee. . . 

The special committee in the cases of certain brethren sub- 
mitted their report, when James dimming, Jesse A. Hyden, 
and Thomas H. Russell were expelled from the Church, it 
appearing that they were members of the convention called at 
Knoxville inaugurating steps to enter the Methodist Episcopal 
Church (North) and carry all the membership with them, also 
to convey to the Methodist Episcopal Church (North) all the 
property of the Holston Conference. Samuel B. Harwell and 
David Fleming were referred to the presiding elder of the 
Cumberland District ; Erastus Rowley, to the presiding elder 
of the Chattanooga District; and John W. Mann, to the pre- 
siding elder of the Knoxville District. James Atkins, William 
Robeson, John Brunner, Jesse G. Swisher, and James Mahoney 
were passed. 

In the body of- the minutes I find no record of the 
appointment of the committee. I remember that I 
was a member of it, and that I stood alone in oppo- 
sition to the report which was made to the Conference. 
The proceedings continue: 



General Vaughn having sent through one of his acting 
chaplains a request that the Conference remember him in 
their prayers and his brave command in their perils and 
dangers for the country, the Conference passed a resolution 
to that effect, with a request that the same be published in the 
Knoxville Register and Marion Ensign, in accordance with 
which Bishop Early called upon the Conference- and congre- 
gation present to join Dr. Wiley in prayer for General Vaughn 
and his officers and men now contending for our homes and 
altars. . . . 

The following resolution was passed : 

"Resolved, That in view of our allegiance as citizens of the 
Confederate States of America and the grave moral question 
involved, we strongly disapprove the taking of any oath on 
the part of members of this body pledging or feigning to pledge 
allegiance to the United States, seeing the terribly .demoraliz- 
ing effects of the same on the country and the Church." 

The last clause of the special committee in the case of 
certain brethren was adopted, and the whole report filed, 
marked "No. 8." 

The following resolution was passed : 

"Believing that James Atkins, William Robeson, John H. 
Brunner, Jesse G. Swisher, and James Mahoney have taken 
the oath to the Federal government under circumstances pe- 
culiarly painful and oppressive to them, and that their hearts 
are still with us, and that their hands would be if they were 
not manacled, we recommend that their characters pass and 
that they shall have the sympathies and prayers of their 
brethren in this the hour of their trial." 

Those preachers who took the oath of allegiance to 
the United States took it under duress, and it is a de- 
batable question whether an oath taken under duress 
is binding either in law or morals. Besides, the oath 
was taken when the timbers of the Confederacy were 
breaking and falling, and the Confederate Government 
was not in a condition to protect its people where the 


Federal armies were holding sway. Indeed, it was not 
long after this till the Federal Government had com- 
pletely reestablished its authority in the Southern 
States, and it became the right and duty of all citizens 
of the South to swear allegiance to the Federal Gov- 
ernment if the authorities demanded it. 

I have looked in vain in the Journal and the files 
of the Conference for the names of the special com- 
mittee mentioned above and to which were referred 
the cases of the brethren accused of disloyalty to the 
Confederate Government. As well as I now remem- 
ber, the committee consisted of five mem and Anson 
W. Cummings and myself were members of the com- 
mittee. When the committee was appointed, my views 
were well known; but all the other members of the 
committee were known to be in sympathy with the 
policy of Bishop Early. The accused brethren were 
within the enemy's lines, and possibly could not have 
been present if they had so desired. I opposed at- 
tempting to try them at the present session, as they 
could not be legally tried, and I stoutly opposed expul- 
sion without due form of trial. But in the committee 
I constituted a hopeless minority- Dr. Cummings, for- 
merly President of Holston Conference Female Col- 
lege, but during the past year preacher in charge of 
Sulphur Springs Circuit (North Carolina), was a 
Northern-born man, recently from the North ; but he 
out-Heroded Herod in his persecution of the disloyal 
brethren. The reader, therefore, need not be sur- 
prised that after the war he affiliated with the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, and at one time traveled 


through the Northern States lecturing on Kukluxism 
and other supposed crimes of the Southern people. 

When the committee reported to the Conference, 
recommending the expulsion of James Cumming, Jes- 
se A. Hyden, and Thomas H. Russell, I arose in my 
place and took the ground that these brethren could 
not be expelled without trial, that notice of charges and 
specifications had not been served upon them, and 
that it was probably impossible for them to pass 
through the lines to attend the Conference. The Bish- 
op ruled that the motion was in order, and that action 
in these cases could be legally taken at once. I at once 
appealed from his ruling to the College of Bishops. I 
will be candid in acknowledging that I was in error in 
appealing to the Episcopal College ; I should have ap- 
pealed to the General Conference. However, as it 
turned out, this was not necessary, as the General Con- 
ference Committee on Conference Records in 1866 
very readily discovered the irregularities of Bishop 
Early's administration from the Holston Conference 
Journal. Besides, as will be seen later, the Holston 
Conference of 1865 appealed from its own action in 
the above cases to the General Conference of 1866. 

War is a great demoralizer, and the Civil War was 
no exception to this rule. Speculation and peculation 
ran riot in both ends of the country, especially in the 
North. In the South there was an evident relaxation 
along the lines of social purity and temperance. It 
was therefore well that at this session the report on 
temperance took high ground and that emphatic reso- 
lutions against the drink habit and the liquor traffic 
were adopted. 


The trustees of Holston Conference Female College 
having elected James S. Kennedy to the presidency of 
that institution, the election was confirmed with the 
understanding that he was to enter upon his duties as 
soon as the condition of the country should justify it. 

Mention is made above of a paper named the Marion 
Ensign. A word about it: I was appointed to Marion 
Circuit in 1863 ; and some time after I had taken charge 
of the circuit, the Rev. W. H. Talley, a located preach- 
er, and myself purchased the press, type, fixtures, and 
good will of a political paper being published at that 
time in Marion, Va., and began the publication of a 
religious paper with the foregoing title. Mr. J. W. 
Kennedy was our foreman, and he made the body of 
the selections for the paper while I wrote the editorials 
and editorial notes. It had a good circulation, and 
continued to be published till the office was acciden- 
tally destroyed by fire about Christmas of 1864. The 
fire occurred the night before the raiding column of 
General Stoneman reached the town. I remember that 
the greatest sleet that I ever saw was prevailing at 
that time; the roads were solid ice. As the Federals 
came in at one end of the town I, with some others, 
went out at the other end; and afterwards falling in 
with the Rev. B. F. Nuckolls in Wythe County, I hid 
with him in the mountains south of Wytheville till the 
danger had passed. Our meals were carried to us by 
a faithful servant of Mr. Ballard E. Ward, who was 
at that time a soldier in the Southern army. Mr. 
Ward's home was at Speedwell, on Cripple Creek, on 
a farm adjoining that of the Rev. John M. McTeer. 
The negro who brought our meals to us and kept us 


posted as to the movements of the Yankees in the im- 
mediate vfcinity was by the name of Randle. He was 
then an old man, true and trusty, black as an ace, and 
about seven feet two inches high. The Yankees at- 
tempted to persuade him to go with them, but he re- 
fused. This noble fellow died of typhoid fever a short 
time after the war, and is no doubt numbered among 
God's people in the spirit land. A squad of Federals 
camped in my yard at Marion, but they did me and 
my family no damage except the burning for firewood 
of the back fence of the parsonage lot. I had just 
salted down five hogs and bought a load of hay, but 
these things were not disturbed. The soldiers did not 
enter the house, but had our cook, a colored girl, to 
cook for them ; and when they left, they left abundant 
remuneration in sugar, coffee, and tobacco. In the 
fight between Generals Stoneman and Breckenridge 
the first shot was fired over the parsonage, although 
the bulk of the battle occurred two miles east of the 
town. In that battle some whites and many negroes 
were killed. The advantage was with General Brecken- 
ridge till his ammunition was exhausted. He then fell 
back into Rye Valley, and the Federals returned west, 
destroying the salt works on their return march. They 
had already destroyed the lead mines in Wythe County. 

Admitted on trial : None. 

Readmitted : William Hicks. 

Located : Gaston M. Massey. 

Discontinued : John W. Rudd, James E. Niece. 

Superannuated: T. K. Catlett, David Fleming, Samuel B. 
Harwell, Joseph Haskew, D. B. Carter, W. B. Winton, T. 
Sullins, R. W. Patty, T. K. Munsey, W. Robeson, E'. C Wex- 


Expelled: James Cumming, Jesse A. Hyden, Thomas H. 

Referred to presiding elders : B. F. White, Abram Weaver, 
S. B. Harwell, David Fleming, Erastus Rowley, John W 

Died : Rufus M. Stevens. 

Transferred to the Montgomery Conference : Henry P.. 

Numbers in society : White, 45,881 ; colored, 4,649. Total 
50,530. Decrease, 1,206. 

Local preachers, 337 ; traveling preachers, 93. 

Collected for missions, Sunday schools, and tracts, $7,554.40. 

Jesse A. Hyden was a brother of John C. and Sam- 
uel W. Hyden. He died in Ottawa, Kans. ? December 
15, 1909. He did service in the Federal army during 
the Civil War, and afterwards drew a considerable pen- 
sion. I knew him intimately when we were both young 
in the ministry. He was a sprightly man and preached 
incisively. He was not wanting in eccentricity. When 
I was in charge of Cleveland Station, he was in charge 
of Cleveland Circuit. That was in 1856-57. At one 
time we were holding a meeting together in the coun- 
try, and one day went to the same place for dinner. 
While dinner was in preparation, Hyden fell into con- 
versation with a lady visitor who was there. He said :. 
"Madam, if the inquiry is not impertinent, where do 
you live?" She replied: "I. live in this community." 
"Are you married or single?" "I am single." "Do 
you belong to the Church?" "Yes, sir." "What 
Church do you belong to?" "The Baptist Church." 
Turning his back to her, he said : "Worse and worse !" 

I assisted him one week in a meeting on his circuit 
at a place called Wesleyana. The meeting dragged. 
One day, to make things more lively, he submitted to 


the congregation a number of propositions, a process 
sometimes called mustering. As it happened, there 
was a stranger sitting near the door who did not re- 
spond to any of the propositions. The first proposi- 
tion was : "I want all who believe you are children of 
God to kneel." Some knelt. The second proposition 
was : "I wish all who are seeking salvation to kneel." 
Others knelt. The third proposition was : "I wish all 
who want to go to heaven when you die to kneel." 
Others knelt, but the man at the door maintained his 
physical uprightness. Determined to bring all the peo- 
ple to their knees, he made a fourth proposition: "I 
wish all who are friends to their country to kneel." 
Then all that were sitting up knelt except the man at 
the door. Then he said, "Let us pray;" and he him- 
self led in the prayer, beginning his prayer with: 
"Lord, have mercy upon that poor sinner sitting there 
against the cheek of the door, that is not a friend to 
his country!" The man still sat up; and if he ever 
took umbrage at the manner in which he had been 
personated, he was too stubborn or too prudent to 
manifest it. 

Once while Hyden was preaching a neatly dressed 
young man deliberately got up and walked out. Hy- 
den believed that the young man wished to attract at- 
tention to his fine equipment; and as he neared the 
door, the preacher said: "We are not anxious to see 
how a young man's coat fits in the back!" The only 
effect of the remark was to quicken the young man's 

Hyden was once holding a meeting under the shed 
at Red Clay Camp Ground. He had a large, attentive 


audience of plain people. But while services were 
progressing a young man, a drummer for some whole- 
sale establishment, entered the congregation. He was 
dressed in city style, with a stovepipe hat on, and 
doubtless realized his superiority to the plain people 
about him. He. had not politeness or reverence enough 
for the occasion to take off his hat ; and he had scarce- 
ly been seated when he took out a cigar, struck a 
match, and proceeded to smoke, whereupon the preach- 
er, raising his hands, said: "Let us pray." All the 
people, the stranger excepted, went to their knees at 
once, while he sat with his hat on, puffing at his cigar. 
The sheriff of the county, a Mr. Coon, happened to 
be in the congregation, and Hyden called out: "Mr. 
Coon, please take cognizance of that young man with 
a stovepipe hat and a cigar in his mouth !" Off went 
the hat and down to his knees went the stranger, and 
the sheriff looked in vain for the offender. 

Once Hyden and myself, hearing of a protracted' 
meeting going on in the town of Charleston, Tenn., 
ran up on the train to attend it. We had scarcely ar- 
rived when Hyden was appointed to preach. The 
church was crowded ; and while the sermon was going 
on, the preacher observed two' ladies in the extreme 
rear of the audience whispering to each other very 
earnestly. He halted and said: "I see two women in 
the back part of the church talking to each other and 
wondering who I am." Then in a sharp, explosive 
voice he cried out : "I am Jesse Hyden ! Now let me 
have your attention." 

These stories would seem to indicate that Mr. Hy- 
den was a rude man. The truth is that he knew how 



to be polite, but he had embraced the opinion that des- 
perate diseases demand heroic treatment. 

Mr. Hyden connected himself with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in 1864, and died in it. 


Thomas R Russell affiliated with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. At one time he was a presiding 
elder in it. He was an active, energetic man, sociable, 
charitable, loving, and loved. 

Rufus M. Stevens was born in Washington County, 


Va., May 18, 1808. In 1812, while the war between 
Great Britain and the United States was raging, his 
parents removed to Rhea County, Tenn., then a fron- 
tier section of the country. In their new home they 
encountered many difficulties and had but few conven- 
iences. Provisions were scarce, and they lived near 
the Cherokees, who were none too cordial with the 
whites. These considerations made them often wish 
that they were back at their former Virginia home. 
But meeting these difficulties as best they could and 
mastering many of them by industry and perseverance, 
they remained at their frontier home. Mr. Stevens's 
early advantages were very limited. For a number of 
years there were no schools in the village where his 
parents lived. He was twelve years old before he had 
an opportunity to go to school. It appears from some 
papers left by Mr. Stevens that Colonel Meigs, who 
was an agent for the Indians, came to Rhea County, 
and, seeing the need of a school, induced a Mr. John- 
son to go to Washington, the county site, to teach. 
Mr. Stevens remembered Mr. Johnson as a tyrant, and 
said that he would require the scholars to memorize 
from three to five pages, and that if they missed three 
words he would whip them. This was inserting knowl- 
edge hypodermically. He claimed to have learned but 
little at this school. After the death of the elder John- 
son, he was taught by Thomas Johnson, a son of the 
former ; and he regarded him as a greater tyrant than 
his father was. 

Mr. Stevens learned English grammar after he was 
licensed to preach. The country being sparsely set- 
tled, he rarely had an opportunity to hear a gospel 


sermon. When quite young he heard Lorenzo Dow 
preach. He described him as "wearing a fringed hunt- 
ing shirt fastened around him with a belt, and a pair 
of boots off at the ankles." 

Among the first preachers whom he recollected to 
have heard was one whom he described as "a young 
man with a florid complexion, fair hair, and blue eyes." 
That young man was Thomas String-field. Mr. Stevens 
became very much attached to Mr. Stringfield, and in 
after years that attachment grew into love, which lasted 
to the day of his death. But his first religious impres- 
sions seem to have been received under the ministry 
of a missionary to the Indians. His name was Kings- 
berry, and he was a small man, reel-footed, and usual- 
ly rode a fine horse and carried a large pair of sad- 
dlebags. One day while riding through the village 
of Washington, he came to the schoolhouse and asked 
permission to preach to the school. This being grant- 
ed, the teacher requested him to wait till the citizens 
of the town could be notified. Young Stevens, being 
very fleet of foot, was sent around to give the no- 
tice. By the time he had returned the house was 
nearly full. He could see but one vacant seat, and 
that was near the preacher ; and not wishing to get too 
close to him, he turned to leave the house. But the 
preacher spoke to him and requested him to take that 
seat, which he did. Under the sermon the Spirit of 
God found its way to his heart, and tears coursed their 
way down his cheeks. The preacher gently laid- his 
hand on the head of the weeping boy and said, "My 
son, be a good boy, so that you may be a useful man," 
at the same time praying the blessing of God upon 


him. He never saw the missionary afterwards, but 
his convictions never wore off. 

At the age of fourteen he was carrying the mail 
from McMinnville to Kingston, Tenn. One cold day 
in December, after riding a few miles, he discovered 
that his horse was so lame that he was not likely to 
reach the nearest tavern that night. The public road 
at that time lay through a mountainous wilderness, 
with dwelling houses few and far between. He was' 
walking and driving his horse before him and weep- 
ing. About ten o'clock in the morning a well-mounted, 
comfortably dressed gentleman overtook him; and 
seeing the boy in trouble, he at once commenced a 
conversation with him, told him not to weep, and in- 
troduced the subject of religion. The stranger seemed 
to know the near route to the boy's heart. He told him 
of the dying Saviour, and how he might find pardon 
and peace. Mr. Stevens said to him that his horse 
was so lame that he believed he would have to lie out 
that night. The stranger said to him : "My son, if you 
lie out, I shall stay with you; if you suffer, I shall 
suffer with you." Thus it seems that there have been 
more good Samaritans in the world than one. 

About ten o'clock at night they arrived at a tavern. 
After putting away their horses and eating supper, 
they went to rest, sleeping in the same bed. As they 
were going to sleep, the stranger said: "O my son, 
God bless you, make you a good and useful man, and 
may you and I meet in heaven !" The next morning 
when the boy awoke the stranger was gone, and he 
never saw him afterwards and never learned him name. 
From that day he sought religion, never neglecting his 


regular devotions. For five years he prayed every 
day and read his Bible regularly. He was in the habit 
of carrying his Bible to the field and reading while his 
horse was resting. Sometimes he would weep and 
pray for mercy all night. He had been brought up 
under Presbyterian influence, and the doctrine of de- 
crees hindered him very much. While he would pray 
and struggle the dread thought that possibly he was a 
reprobate would cause him to despair. For five years 
he sought pardon, and, as he thought, earnestly. 

One morning, after having spent the night in weep- 
ing and praying, he resolved to fast*and pray until he 
should obtain the evidence of pardoned sin. One day 
he started to mill, some six miles distant; and as he 
mounted his horse, he determined to find mercy that 
day if it was for him. As he went he asked himself 
the question, "Did Christ die for me?" and answered, 
"I believe he did." Again he asked, "Will he save me 
now?" and answered, "I believe he will." Thereupon 
the blessing came, and he went on to the mill, shouting 
and giving glory to God. This was in the year 1827 
or 1828. He joined the Methodist Church at his first 
opportunity after this. In a short time thereafter he 
was licensed to preach. In 1829 he joined the Holston 
Conference, and for many years did effective service 
as circuit preacher, station preacher, and presiding eld- 
er. In 1 861 he was placed on the superannuate roll. 

In November, 1863, this aged and worn-out minis- 
ter was arrested by the Federal authorities, thrown into 
prison at Knoxville, and confined there about one 
month, and for no other reason, of which I have been 
informed, than that he was a Southern man in senti- 


ment and sympathy. He was then sent to prison in 
Cincinnati, where he died February 29, 1864. 

It appears that age and infirmity, confinement in 
prison, the loss of liberty, separation from family and 
•friends, and the cruelties inflicted on him in his march 
to the North combined to break down the remnant of 
his constitution which had survived the hardships of 
itinerant life. I am informed that for much of the 
distance between Knoxville and Cincinnati this feeble 
old man was compelled to walk. 

He died in Woodward Hospital, Cincinnati, a stran- 
ger amid strangers ; but his death was peaceful, happy, 
triumphant, glorious. A Sister of Charity of the Cath- 
olic Church, who was waiting on him when he died, 
said that he died shouting the praises of God. The 
Rev. J. C. Harrison wrote: "He expressed faith in 
God and hope of eternal life, saying: 'I feel like shout- 
ing the praise of God for his goodness to me.' " His 
remains rest in the Linden Grove Cemetery, at Cov- 
ington, Ky. 1 

Stevens was by nature a very superior man. If he 
had not been, so meager were his opportunities that 
he would scarcely have deserved a line in history. I 
class him with men of genius. He was a man of quick 
perception and vigorous mind. He had a strong, cre- 
ative imagination and a versatile fancy. He was a nat- 
ural orator of high order. Though unschooled, he 
read much and to purpose, and in his discourses he 
used the language of the books. He was a man of 

1 An obituary notice by Rev. W. H. Stevens, son of the 
deceased, printed in the Nashville Christian Advocate. 


great reserve mental force. I have known him to be 
preaching smoothly and beautifully when, suddenly 
rising to tiptoe and stretching his right arm to full 
length, he would give utterance to a sublime thought, 
which would throw his audience into a paroxysm of* 

His wit was keen, and his humor was genial and 
refreshing. He was of medium size, with dark com- 
plexion and black hair (when young). His features 
were regular and handsome, and he had a great soul ; 
there was nothing little or penurious in his composi- 
tion. If he had had first-rate advantages, he could 
have attracted attention as a thinker and speaker in 
the great centers of the world. 

In a letter to the author the Rev. W. H. Bates 
writes : 

Rev. Rufus M. Stevens was one of nature's gifted sons. 
He stood among the foremost as an orator. He was my first 
presiding elder. When I was a little boy, he and Rev. Joseph 
Haskew were on the Athens Circuit and visited my father's 
home, in McMinn County. Their coming was always hailed 
with joy by the children. They were both witty and full of 
humor. The first sermon I heard Mr. Stevens preach was one 
of the finest I ever heard, not excepting the bishops, and I have 
heard most of our Southern bishops. His sermons were not 
uniform. It required something to excite him, to spring his 
mind to its best efforts. At camp meetings at eleven o'clock 
Sunday he seldom failed. Then again, when called on to con- 
clude after a prosy, scattering sermon, he would go off into 
flights of oratory which would electrify the congregation. 

I have been fortunate in preserving a sketch of Mr. 
Stevens written for the Holston Methodist by Dr. C. 
D. Smith, and it is as follows : 


Stevens as a man was sincere in his friendships and pos- 
sessed the faculty of making many and sincere friends. His 
disposition was lively and genial, his manners and intercourse 
easy and initiative, and his conversational powers were enter- 
taining, together with free and open candor, which rendered 
him acceptable and companionable as a guest or a friend. No 
one was ever tired of his company. Destitute of dogmatism in 
his intercourse with his fellow men, warm in his impulses and 
exercismg the first element in the character of a gentleman 
(deference to others), and yet never compromising truth for 
popularity's sake, he was popular with all who knew him. He 
was not officious nor an intermeddler, but always manifested 
a lively interest in the success and well-being of his immediate 
friends. No one possessed warmer sympathies for a friend in 
misfortune or distress than R. M. Stevens. He was abreast 
with the foremost in all matters that concerned the public 
weal, either national, State, or local; and therefore won the 
good will of all who loved and labored for public improve- 
ment and for the conservation of the public morals. 1 

Stevens was about six feet in height, with a round and 
compact body and rather round shoulders. He was quick in 
his movements. He was somewhat spare of flesh, and weighed, 
perhaps, one hundred and sixty pounds. He had a full suit 
of black hair, and a quick, dilating, and searching black eye. 
When animated in preaching or even in private conversation, 
his eye was very expressive. Mr. Stevens's voice was agree- 
able. It was between a tenor and a treble, entirely free from 
jar or harshness, and was what you would call shrill, clear, and 
strong. It was usually well controlled, and, with his accus- 
tomed distinct enunciation, he could be easily heard by large 
congregations. As a preacher he had some natural gifts of a 
high order. He was not what one would call a close student. 
He did not like to be confined to his books, except the Bible; 
but he possessed quick perception and a retentive memory, 
and could turn to account with great readiness what he had 
learned by reading, observation, or otherwise. He could por- 
tray the woes qf the damned and the joys of the just in 
heaven in such vivid contrast as to terrify and captivate at 


the same time. Possessed of a fine imagination, supported by 
a warm, nervous temperament, he was often eloquent. Having 
a remarkable command of language for a man of his letters 
and an impromptu readiness, together with an easy and un- 
hesitating delivery, Mr. Stevens was an orator of' no mean 
parts. It was a credit to his oratory that he did not seek 
to be sensational. His themes were usually such as were 
drawn from the doctrines of the New Testament: repentance, 
faith, the new birth, sanctification, the promises of the Master, 
the resurrection, a general judgment, etc. He was especially 
happy in the use of the imagery in St. Paul's writings, drawn 
from ancient Grecian and Roman customs. Such themes were 
suited to his tastes and peculiar talents, and it was refreshing 
to witness the skill with which he handled them. Rufus M. 
Stevens was a man of mark. As evidence of the confidence 
reposed in him, he was promoted to the presiding eldership 
and honored with a seat in the councils of the Church. 
But after all this career of usefulness and trust, his life had a 
sad ending. In this there is a history which "I propose to pre- 
sent briefly; and, as the gentlemen from whom I obtained my 
information, after having been notified of my purpose, have 
not enjoined secrecy, I shall .quote from their letters. Gen. W. 
W. Wallace, now of Knoxville, Tenn., long an intimate friend 
of Mr. Stevens, and a fellow prisoner and fellow sufferer with 
him, in response, of a recent date, to a letter of mine, says : 

"Mr. Stevens and myself were both arrested the same night. 
He was arrested in this county by J. B. Brpwnlow, a son of 
Parson W. G. Brownlow. I was taken out of my bed at Louis- 
ville, Blount County, Tenn., by a horse thief by the name of 
Scates, who had to leave the State at the end of the war on 
account of horse-stealing. We were turned over to the Fed- 
eral authorities and placed in prison at this place [Knoxville, 
Tenn.], with about a hundred other citizen prisoners, where we 
remained a month. On the approach of Longstreet's army to 
this place we were, with, a hundred Confederate soldiers, sent 
to Cincinnati. It would be tedious and difficult to give the 
indignities and hardships endured en route. • We left Knox- 
ville and marched on foot four miles the first evening, carry- 


ing our baggage. Mr. Stevens, being in bad health and unused 
to walking, was completely prostrated and broken down the 
first day. His family, hearing of our departure, overtook us 
before leaving camp next morning, bringing him a horse, 
which, with much persuasion, he was permitted to ride. To 
fully describe the horrors of that trip would be impossible. 
The road was the route traveled by Burnside's invading army 
and wagon train, and the large amount of stock and army 
supplies driven over it had worked miles of the road into 
almost impassable mud and slush. Portions of it, where there 
had been less fain, were so dusty that great clouds of dust 
hovered over us in our march, and, being confined to the 
frequented track by the guard that marched on each side 
of us, we could not avoid either dust or mud. Thus we were 
even compelled to wade branches and creeks that crossed our 
road. On such roads as described we marched from this 
place to Nicholasville, Ky. The last twenty-seven miles we 
made in a day, with clouds of dust and a hot sun over us, and 
without a morsel to eat or a drink of water. A little before 
sunset we halted in an old field, covered with dust and sat- 
urated with perspiration, to await the arrival of a train that 
was to carry us to Covington. A full two hours elapsed be- 
fore it came, it being a train of box cars used for shipping 
cattle, with the filth still in them. It now being dark, we were 
crowded into theni, not knowing the consequences, and had to 
crouch down and find rest as best we could for the night. In 
one of the cars a keg of tar had been spilled, and the inmates 
of that car beggared description. Covered with dust as, they 
were, their blankets and clothes, their hands and faces, and 
even their hair, saturated with tar, they were a most pitiable, 
as well as disgusting, sight. In this condition we were turned 
into a vacant lot at Covington about sunrise. After a delay 
of an hour, orders were given to issue rations, which consisted 
of bread, bacon, and coffee. . The men, being as hungry as 
wolves, went to work with avidity to get up fires to boil 
coffee and broil their meat, but before half of them had any- 
thing prepared to eat orders were given to prepare to march. 
Now a most ludicrous scramble ensued. Some cut off chunks 


of raw bacon and munched it as they went along; others 
turned it, hot and half done, on their bread and did the same. 
Those that had cups filled them with half-boiled coffee and 
sipped as they went. One hour from this time we had crossed 
the Ohio River and were drawn up in line in front of the 
office of some war official. Though we remained there for a 
long time, none of us could divine the purpose, unless it was 
to give the curious crowd that thronged around us in large 
numbers ample time to gaze upon us and pass complimentary 
remarks, which they indulged in freely, as: "This is the class 
of citizens that is creating the disturbance down South," 
"They are the hardest looking lot that ever appeared in this 
city," etc. Thus we were moved from post to post and 
marched and countermarched the entire day, getting into 
prison quarters as night set in. The third day after this I 
was attacked with a terrible cold. The result was a malignant 
attack of erysipelas in my face that caused total blindness for a 
period of eight days. Mr. Stevens, from the start, was sick 
and despondent, gradually growing worse. His disease was 
chronic bowel complaint, accompanied by acute neuralgia. 
He and I had long been intimate friends, and, from the day of 
our first imprisonment, had messed together, and our cots 
were side by side during my forty days' stay in Cincinnati. 
A' good portion of the time our prison friends believed that 
neither of us would get well; and had it not been that a 
good Samaritan entered the prison and discovered our con- 
dition and ministered to our wants, I think that my life would 
not have been saved, nor Mr. Stevens's prolonged as it was. 
This angel of mercy was a widow, Mrs. S. Peters, with 
a large fortune and without children, who claimed to be a 
daughter of Rufus King, a former Governor of New York. 
She was a Roman Catholic, but not a regular Sister of Charity. 
She was spending her time and money in caring for the des- 
titute and visiting those who were sick and in prison, acting 
the good Samaritan in the highest sense of that word. This 
woman found us out and visited us, bringing in soups and other 
delicacies such as were suited to our weak condition, sending 
soap and towels and all such things as she thought would add 


to our comfort. But the saddest part of this recital is that 
while this Roman Catholic lady was displaying these true 
Christian virtues, Mr. Stevens's brethren in the Church, many 
of them, being in the city and knowing his condition, never 
deigned to call upon him, save one Nat. G. Taylor, a Meth- 
odist minister, who lately died in Carter County, this State, 
being one of the many refugees from East Tennessee on 
Longstreet's approach. He called several times to see him. 
Mr. Stevens shed tears over the Catholic lady's kind treat- 
ment, often saying that in times past he had felt it a duty to 
persecute the Catholic people; but this woman had so com- 
pletely disarmed him that he never could do it again. I 
remained in the city forty days, and, so soon as I recovered 
sufficiently, was ordered to Johnson's Island. Mr. Stevens 
was not in condition to go. He had steadily declined all the 
time, and seemed fully conscious that he would never recover 
nor ever reach home. Some days before I left he learned that 
a Methodist minister and particular friend by the name of 
Cunnyngham was in Kentucky. He wrote to him and re- 
ceived an answer before I left. This letter he showed me. 
It gave some % reason for not visiting him at once, but con- 
tained a promise to come soon. I learned after leaving that 
he did visit him. I refer you to him for particulars as to Mr. 
Stevens's last days, death, and burial. His name is W. G. E. 
Cunnyngham, Sunday School Editor, Nashville, Tenn. 
"Most respectfully, W. W. Wallace." 

I have made this lengthy extract from General Wallace's 
letter because it was necessary in order to show the animus of 
the men who arrested noncombatants — private citizens and 
ministers of the gospel — and hurried them off to prison and 
exposed them to the most cruel hardships, a persecution even 
unto death, and because it is unvarnished history which con- 
cerns a beloved brother who was driven to the slaughter for 
no other offense than the exercise of what all true freemen 
love and cherish — the right of personal opinion. The facts 
stated in this letter show also the animus of certain saints of 
the Lord in time of war. I leave this sickening historic pic- 
ture and introduce an extract from a letter from Dr. Cunnyng- 


ham of recent date concerning the death and burial. of Rufus 
M. Stevens : 

"Your friend, General Wallace, has been misinformed, in 
part, as to my visit to Brother R. M. Stevens. The story is 
briefly this: I was at Shelbyville, Ky., waiting .for an oppor- 
tunity to get through the Federal lines into 'Dixie.' I landed 
in New York December 24, 1861, and remained there until in 
the early part of the next March. I visited Washington City 
and other points, trying to get through the lines; but as I was 
not loyal enough to swallow the oaths presented to me as 
conditions of securing a pass, I could not get through. While 
waiting at Shelbyville, I heard that Brother Stevens was in 
McClain Barracks, in Cincinnati, a prisoner. I sent him money, 
and, as soon as I could, went to see him, but he had passed 
away before I reached Cincinnati. I saw Dr. Harrison, of 
the Kentucky Conference, who lived in Covington at the 
time, and who had visited Brother Stevens during his illness 
in the prison, ai\d who also attended to having him buried in 
Covington. Dr. Harrison was loyal and had access to the 
barracks. I could not have seen Brother Stevens if I had 
been in Cincinnati before his death. I could not take the test 
oath. I also visited the Prioress of the Convent of St. Claire, 
who had visited Brother Stevens during his last sickness and, 
I think, was with him when he died. She said that he was 
very happy in prospect of his speedy entrance into heavenly 
rest. She said to me : 'I am a Catholic, though brought up a 
Presbyterian, and I know that you Protestants trust only in our 
Lord for salvation, and so do I. Mr. Stevens was a good man, 
and I never said one word to him about the difference in our 
creeds. He was* dying, and I would not trouble him in his 
last hours.' She gave me his satchel, Bible, and spectacles, 
which I sent to Sister Stevens, but never heard whether she 
received them. This is all I know about Brother Stevens's 
death. He died in McClain Barracks, and died happy in the 
Lord. I was glad to know that the money I sent him was 
received by him, and that it helped to make him comfortable 
in his last days. 

"Yours truly, W. G. ,E. Cunnyngham." 


Thus ended the life of Rufus M. Stevens, a man of nat- 
urally brilliant parts, who proved his fidelity to the Church 
and to God, and who died a martyr to the cause of personal 
freedom and the right of private judgment, and died at the 
instigation of sectional hate and bigotry. This is an ugly 
chapter in history. It is, however, only just to an innocent 
and persecuted man, just to a Church at whose altars and in 
whose ministry he served to the good of souls, just as a timely 
rebuke to a rude barbarism which knows no mercy and prac- 
tices its powers of hate under a display of banners on which 
are inscribed : "We are the patriots of the land and the saints 
of the Lord." Thank heaven, Rufus M. Stevens is safe beyond 
the color line and the power of hatred which kept medical aid 
from his dying couch ! He went up with a shout to be forever 
with the Lord. 

As the statement of General Wallace seems to in- 
culpate Col. John B. Brownlow, I will allow him to 
defend himself, which he does in a letter to me : 

I called at the office of Brigadier General S. P. Carter, 
Provost Marshal General, on some business, the nature of 
which I have forgotten. As I entered his office I heard him 
give the order to a subordinate officer, a lieutenant, I believe, 
to take a squad of men and go to the home of Rev. R. M. 
Stevens and arrest and bring him to Knoxville immediately. 
I at once remarked : "General Carter, Stevens is a good man. 
I have known him since I can remember. He has many times 
been a guest at my father's house when there were so many 
guests that he and myself have occupied the same room to- 
gether, and I know all his children." General Carter replied : 
"I have ordered his arrest because several of his Union neigh- 
bors have complained to me that on his report to the Confed- 
erate authorities here several of his neighbors had been ar- 
rested and sent South to prison." I replied : "I know nothing, 
General, as to the truth or falsity of these charges ; . . . but 
I hope that you will deal as leniently as possible with Mr. Stev- 
ens." He then turned to me and said : "I do not wish to do him 
an injustice or treat him harshly; and on account of your long 


acquaintance with and personal regard for him, I want you 
to make -the arrest, because it would doubtless be preferred 
by him that you do this, and it would alarm his family less 
than if done by a stranger." General Carter insisted, and I 
complied with the request. When I went to Mr. Stevens's 
farm, I explained the whole matter to him in detail. He ex- 
pressed himself as greatly pleased that I had come instead of 
a stranger. I got to his house about midday. He requested 
that I give him until the next morning before starting for 
Knoxville, as he wished to attend to some private affairs. I 
readily consented, and told him to take all the time he wanted. 
I put no guard over him, but paroled him, and spent the night 
at his house. I was on duty in Kentucky during the siege 
of Knoxville ; and after the siege, when I was on my way 
home, I met officers in charge of prisoners going North. I 
saw among them on horseback Mr. Stevens in charge of Col. 
R. Clay Crawford, a Tennessee officer. After shaking hands 
with Mr. Stevens and expressing my regret at finding him in 
the situation he was in, I turned to Colonel Crawford and 
said: "I want you to do everything in your power to make 
Mr. Stevens- comfortable. He is an old friend of. pur family." 
Colonel Crawford replied : "You are telling me just what your 
mother did before I left Knoxville. She gave me two blankets 
for his use, and I promised to do everything I could to make 
him comfortable." 

Judge O. P. Temple, in his "East Tennessee and the 
Civil War," says: 

There was undoubtedly a disposition on the part of Gen. 
S. P. Carter, the provost marshal general, to be just and hu- 
mane, for such was his nature; but it was difficult for the 
most humane man, under the circumstances, to hold the scales 
of justice level. Beyond question, there was in some cases, 
possibly in a number, unnecessary severity. In this category 
falls the confinement in a Northern prison of Rev. R. M. 
Stevens, W. W. Wallace, and Chancellor T. N. Vandyke. 
These men were sent, so far as I understand their history, 
simply because they were outspoken, prominent secessionists 



who were unwilling to give up the cause of the Confederacy 
after the Federals had obtained control of East Tennessee. 
As I have condemned the imprisonment of peaceable citizens 
because of political opinions in the case of Union men, so 
likewise I condemn it in these cases. But it, is to be observed 
that the latter class of cases did not amount to a third of the 
former in point of number nor in the severity of treatment, 
and that they occurred after the unjust and unnecessary per- 
secutions of Union men by the Confederate authorities. 

War has its lights as well as its shadows, its ameni- 
ties as well as its barbarities. Among soldiers there are 
good men, magnanimous men, great men, as well as 
bad men, little men. In contrast with the cruelties 
mentioned above and in connection with the mention 
of the Rev. N. G. Taylor, I wish here to introduce a 
' sketch of General Robert B. Vance. This sketch I 
wrote and published a short time after his death. It is 
as follows: 

"Take him, for all in all he was a man ; 
We ne'er shall look upon his like again." 

Robert Brank Vance was born in Buncombe County, N. C, 
April 24, 1828. He was appointed clerk of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas and Quarter Sessions for Buncombe County in 1848, 
served eight years, and declined reelection. Afterwards he 
was engaged in merchandising in Asheville for a number of 
years, and was a popular and successful merchant. He was 
married to Miss Harriet McElroy in 185 1, by whom were born 
to him six children, four of whom survive him. When the war 
broke out, in 1861, he was elected captain of the Buncombe 
Life Guards, raised through his influence for the Confed- 
erate service. When the Twenty-Ninth Regiment of North 
Carolina Volunteers was organized, he was elected colonel by 
the officers, receiving every vote but his own. The regiment 
being reorganized at Cumberland Gap in 1862, he was re- 
elected. He was in several engagements at Cumberland Gap 
in 1862, and commanded his regiment in the battle of Mur- 


freesboro in 1863, where, on the fall of General Rains, he 
succeeded to the command of the brigade while the battle 
was raging. His horse was killed under him, and he was 
complimented for gallantry by General McCown. A short 
time after this he was appointed by President Davis to the 
rank of brigadier general as a reward for his skill and gal- 

After the army fell back under General Bragg to Shelby- 
ville, General Vance became ill with typhoid fever. While 
he was down, his regiment was ordered to Mississippi, and he 
did not command it afterwards. When he returned to the 
army, in 1863, General Bragg assigned him to duty as briga- 
dier general in Western North Carolina ; and he was captured 
at Cosby Creek, Cocke County, Tenn., January 14, 1864, 
while riding into a squad of Federal troops by mistake. The 
General was kept in prison first at Nashville, then at Louis- 
ville, Camp Chase, Ohio, and, lastly, at Fort Delaware. While 
in the last-mentioned prison he was released on parole, to- 
gether with General Beale, and given the freedom of the 
country within the Federal lines to buy clothing for the Con- 
federate prisoners. The cause of this extraordinary kindness 
extended to him involves a touching and interesting story 
which in this brief sketch cannot be given in detail. Suffice it 
to say that it was an apt illustration of the saying of Jesus: 
"With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you 
again." It was one instance of a man's good deeds coming 
back on him as a recompense in this life. While he, with his 
regiment, was holding down the Union men in Johnson 
County, Tenn., in the early part of the war, Rev. Nathaniel 
G. Taylor, a Union man of Carter County, a local preacher 
of eminence in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and a 
prominent politician, was much annoyed by the Confederate 
scouts and, feeling that his life was in danger, he fled to the 
woods ; but becoming weary of lying out in this style, he went 
to Colonel Vance's headquarters, surrendered, and asked for 
protection papers. Colonel Vance, fearing that it would go 
hard with his old friend if he should be taken to Knoxville 
to be tried, instituted a court-martial, tried and acquitted him, 

' :: 




and gave him protection papers. It becoming too. hot for Mr. 
Taylor in East Tennessee, he sdon made his way through the 
Confederate lines to New Jersey. As soon as possible he 
went to Washington City, called on President Lincoln, and 
gave him an account of the situation in East Tennessee. The 
President wept as the story was being told him, but occasional- 
ly interrupted the narrative with a humorous anecdote, thus 
mingling sunshine with shower. Mr. Lincoln was deeply af- 
fected by the story of his trial and acquittal by Colonel Vance, 
weeping freely at the representation of the Colonel's* magna- 
nimity. "And now, Mr. President," said Mr. Taylor, "this 
man is your prisoner." "He shall be released," was the prompt 
and emphatic reply of the President, and the order for his 
release was issued at once. After the General's release, he 
was active, in connection with his Confederate colleague, in 
using the money furnished by the Confederate treasury in pro- 
curing clothing for the Confederate prisoners; and he was 
everywhere cordially received by people of the North, many 
voluntarily contributing to the wants of the prisoners. The 
General's personal popularity and gallant conduct during the 
war pointed him out as a fit standard bearer of the democracy 
of the Eighth Congressional District of his State, and accord- 
ingly he was elected to the House of Representatives in the 
year 1872, and by repeated elections remained an active and 
useful member of that body for twelve years. The nominating 
convention in 1884 being tied between him and Captain Thomas 
D. Johnson, he broke the deadlock by withdrawing from the 
race. During President Cleveland's first term he held the 
office of Assistant Commissioner of Patents. 

General Vance was twice elected Grand Master of Masons 
of North Carolina, and was at one time Deputy High Priest of 
the Grand Chapter of that State; He , was also an honored 
f rater of the Knights Templar. He filled for one term the 
office of Grand Worthy Patriarch of the Sons of Temperance 
of North Carolina. He was from youth a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and was several times 
elected to the General Conference. He was also one of the 
Cape May Commission/which in a measure settled the 


property disputes between the Methodist Episcopal Church and 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The College of 
Bishops also appointed him a delegate to the Ecumenical 
Methodist Conference held in London in 1881, but his pressing 
engagements at home forbade rfis attendance. General Vance 
was for a long time Secretary and Treasurer of the Holston 
Conference Female College, Asheville, N. C, and he admin- 
istered the affairs of his double office with great success. He 
was for many years recording steward of Central Church, 
Asheville, superintendent of the Sunday school, and a leading 
worker in all departments of Church work in his town. 

On March 20, 1887, he lost by death his beloved wife; and 
in 1892 he was happily united in marriage to Miss Lizzie R. 
Cook, of Swain County, who survives him. 

A man who has touched humanity at so many points — a 
man of such probity, unselfishness, devotion to the welfare of 
the race, pleasing manners, and sublime piety — deserves a 
book, but I must be content to dedicate this brief notice to his 

With very limited scholarship, he wrote and spoke accu- 
rately and critically. His belles-lettres reading was extensive, 
and he was a cyclopedia of choice poetical quotations. With 
no education but what the common schools afforded when he 
was a boy and such as he achieved by diligent reading, he 
was an ardent patron of the higher education, contributing 
more than any other one man to the success and prosperity of 
the Conference college in Asheville. 

He had a lifelong temperance record. Through his influ- 
ence a division of Sons of Temperance was kept up in his 
town for a number of years ; and partly through his indefati- 
gable efforts Asheville had a local prohibitory law for some 
years before the war. He delivered hundreds of temperance 
and prohibition lectures throughout the State, traveling at his 
own expense, and his lectures were always full of humor, 
pathos, and eloquence. No man had a better command of 
humor. He was less witty but more humorous than his 
brother Zebulon, yet his wit was ready and sparkling, but 
never sarcastic. . If his character were to be set forth in a 


single word, it would be LOVE. He never wounded with 
words, either privately or publicly. He was a great Church 
worker. In the midst of his business, military, and political 
careers he was always ready to offer a prayer or to deliver a 
religious exhortation. Without spiritually readjusting, he was 
always ready to go into the altar to instruct and comfort peni- 
tents. As a steward he was diligent and successful in managing 
the finances of the Church ; as a Sunday school superintendent 
he was almost adored by the children ; and in revival work his 
spiritual power and influence for good were wonderful. 

Endowed as he was with fine business and economical ideas, 
his liberality at the same time was limited only by his means. 
The indigent, the widow, and the orphan were never turned 
away from his door without material help and a kind word. 
He perhaps gave a larger per cent of his income for Church 
and charity purposes than any other man in his community. 

His fine business talent and great popularity as a business 
man enabled him at one time to accumulate a considerable little 
fortune, which was wasted through the vicissitudes of war, 
mistakes of his partners in business, and other circumstances 
which he could not control, so that he died in limited circum- 

In a proper estimate of his character we should not fail 
to mention the fact that he maintained his moral integrity and 
a high state of spirituality throughout the war and throughout 
a busy and exciting political career. He inherited from a noble 
parentage the most honorable principles. I did not personally 
know his father ; but I never knew a better woman, all around, 
than his mother. General Vance was always honest, truthful, 
incorruptible. His most intimate acquaintances were his great- 
est admirers and most steadfast friends. The value of such a 
man cannot be estimated in figures or words. He had not the 
learning or logical build of his brother, and the world would 
not pronounce him as great a man, but he was not his brother's 
inferior in common sense and political sagacity. In debate he 
could never be tripped, and his readiness and pertinence of 
repartee were unequaled. 

A few speeches in Congress, which do him great credit, and 


a little volume of poems entitled "Heart Throbs from the Moun- 
tains" are his principal contributions to the literature of his 
country. The verses of the latter, written under various cir- 
cumstances, some of them in his early youth, have the spirit of 
poesy, and some of them in rhythm and beautiful sentiment 
possess positive merit. I cannot forbear quoting a few para- 
graphs from a letter to me from his beloved wife, who waited 
upon him so faithfully and lovingly throughout his prolonged 
sickness. She said : 

"General Vance died as he had lived — the noblest Christian 
man I ever knew. He had gradually been sinking a long time, 
and at times was unconscious before he died, and talked but 
little on account of exhaustion. He called me often through 
the last night of his life. I was with him all the time. Just 
before day I said : 'General, you have often repeated the twenty- 
third Psalm and hoped that you would realize it at the last. 
Do you realize it now?' 'Yes, yes,' came in feeble whispers. 
On one occasion a year ago he was dangerously ill through 
the night. I did not think he could live till morning. The 
next day he said : 'You thought I would die last night' .1 said : 
'Yes, General; and how did the future look to you?' He re- 
plied : 'I felt that I had nothing to do but to lay my hand in the 
hand of God and go.' Again he said : 'I am like a bird in the 
air, ready to light on earth or in heaven.' He once asked me if I 
thought the Lord would come for him in the night. I replied : 
'I do not know.' He said: 'I hope he will come through the 
day.' And he did." 

He quietly breathed his last November 28, 1899. 
The funeral services were held at Central Church, 
Asheville. The remains were followed to the cemetery, 
it is said, by the largest funeral procession, except two, 
in the State. Masons, Confederate Veterans, Sons of 
Veterans, joined in the cortege with a large body of 
citizens. His body rests in the Asheville Cemetery and 
his soul in the bosom of God. 

In the last chapter I gave an account of the con- 

392 HOLsfotf Methodism, 


vention which met in Knoxville to consider the questior 
of organizing a Holston Conference of the Methodisi 
Episcopal Church. The organization was determinec 
upon and a day appointed for the meeting of preacher* 
for that purpose. On the day appointed, June I, 1865 
in the same house in which the Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was held by Bish- 
op Early in 1862, Bishop D. W. Clark faced an eager 
expectant company of Methodist preachers and peo- 
ple, men and women. Prayers were offered by Rev 
Dr. Pue, of Cincinnati, and by the venerable James 
Cumming. The Bishop then proceeded with the or- 
ganization, transferring W. C. Daily, G. A. Gowan 
and R. A. Guthrie from the Kentucky Conference oi 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, T. S, Stivers iron 
the Ohio Conference, T. H. Pearne from the Ore- 
gon Conference, and J. F. Spence from the Cincinnati 
Conference. J. F. Spence was requested to act as 
Secretary. Revs. Daily, Gowan, and Guthrie had al] 
been ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, but had refugeed in Kentucky. Forty-three 
preachers were received into the Conference, together 
with seven admitted on trial, making fifty in all. The 
statistical reports showed how well the work of pre- 
liminary organization had been prosecuted by the 
preachers prior to the meeting of the Conference; for, 
including probationers, there was reported a member- 
ship of 6,404 and 51 Sunday schools, with 2,761 officers, 
teachers, and scholars. 
The appointments were as follows : 

Athens District. — J. Albert Hyden, Presiding Elder. Athens, 
J. W. Mannj L. W. Crouch; Athens Circuit, J. N. Moore; 


Decatur Circuit, J. W. Peace; Philadelphia Circuit, J. B. 
Little, J. N. Stamper ; Madisonville and Tellico Mission, to be 
supplied; Maryville Circuit, T. H. Russell; Louisville, T. P. 
Rutherford; Little River, to be supplied; Kingston and Sulphur 
Springs, S. B. Harwell ; Montgomery, to be supplied. E. Row- 
ley, President and Agent of Athens Female College. W. H. 
Rogers, Conference Agent for Sunday Schools, etc. 

Chattanooga District. — W. C. Daily, Presiding Elder. Chat- 
tanooga, T. S. Stivers ; Cleveland, J. L. Mann ; Cleveland and 
Benton, A. F- Shannon; Washington, M. H. B. Burkett; Pike- 
ville and Jasper, John Alley; Ducktown, to be supplied; Har- 
rison and Lafayette, to be supplied; Dalton, to be supplied; 
Rome, to be supplied ; Atlanta, to be supplied. ' 

Jonesboro District.— L. F. Drake, Presiding Elder. Jones- 
boro, to be supplied ; Jonesboro Circuit, to be supplied ; Eliza- 
bethton and Taylorsville, Harmon D. Crumley; Blountville 
and Bristol, to. be supplied ; Kingsport, S. G. Gaines ; Rhea- 
town, Joseph Milburn; Greeneville, to be supplied; Morris- 
,town, W. C. Graves; Fall Branch and Kingsport, to be sup- 
plied; St. Clair, to be supplied; Newport, James Mahoney; 
North Carolina Circuit, A. R. Wilson, J. B. Fitzgerald. Wil- 
liam Milburn, Chaplain in the army and member of Rheatown 
Quarterly Conference. 

Knoxville District. — Thomas H. Pearne, Presiding Elder. 
Knoxville, J. F. Spence; Knox, J. P. Milburn; Rogersville, 
E. E. Gillenwaters, G. M. Hicks (supernumerary) ; Sneed- 
ville, F. D. Crumley; Tazewell and Powell's Valley, J. B. 
Walker, and one to be supplied ; Maynardville, Thomas S. 
Walker; Rutledge, Philip L. Chambers; Jacksboro, John 
Forrester; Clinton, John Mahoney; Dandridge, Andrew J. 
Greer; Sevierville, Daniel Carter. 

The spirit of the Conference did not materially dif- 
fer from that of the Knoxville convention, as the fol- 
lowing resolution, adopted by the Conference on the 
third day of the session, shows : 

Resolved: 1. That it is the sense of this body that those v 
who entered into the late rebellion and imbibed the spirit there- 


of are guilty of a crime sufficient to exclude them from the 
kingdom of grace and glory and must not be admitted into 
this Conference, save upon full confession and thorough re- 

2. That those ministers who abandoned their work and 
their homes and absconded the country upon the approach 
of the national flag have so far forfeited claim to our confi- 
dence and Christian fellowship that they should not be 
recognized by this Conference as accredited ministers till they 
shall have been restored by the proper authorities of the 

An analysis of the list of appointees shows that some 
were appointed to pastoral charges who, according to 
the above resolutions, had been "guilty of a crime suf- 
ficient to exclude them from the kingdom of grace and 
glory" — in other words, that they were put in charge 
of Churches when they deserved to be in hell. Inas- 
much as this new Conference had had no pastoral 
charges in Holston up to this time from which preach- 
ers could abscond, and none of the absconding preach- 
ers had been appointed to any Holston charges by the 
authorities of the Methodist Episcopal Church a foot- 
note should have been appended to Resolution No. 2 
explaining who constituted the "proper authorities" by 
which the fleeing clerics were to be restored in order to 
be entitled to recognition by the new Conference; and, 
further, the nature and process of such restoration 
should have been clearly pointed out. 

I am sorry for the fanaticism displayed by Holston 
(North) in 1865, and glad that this fanaticism was not 
exceeded by the undeniable and ever-to-be-deplored 
fanaticism of Holston, South, in 1862, 1863, and 1864. 
Thanks to the unwisdom that hindered the Methodist 


Episcopal Church from taking full advantage of the 
follies of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South! 

I shall not beg pardon of my readers for giving at 
this point a thrilling incident of the Civil — or rather 
the Un-Civil — War. Some weeks before the raid of 
General Stoneman, which has been mentioned, General 
Burbridge marched a considerable detachment, part 
whites and part negroes, against the salt works in 
Washington and Smyth Counties, Va., for the purpose 
of destroying them. He was met by the Confederates 
and disastrously defeated. The wounded Federals and 
Confederates were sent to the Emory Hospital. 

Some months previously, so the story goes, a Cap- 
tain Smith, of the Federal army, went to the home of 
Champ Ferguson, in Harlan County, Ky., at the hour 
of midnight in freezing weather, and drove his wife 
and grown daughters out of doors in their night- 
clothes, and then destroyed the house by fire. To use 
a vulgarism, Ferguson "had it in" for Smith, and em- 
braced the first opportunity for retribution. The re- 
sult of the. salt works fight furnished this opportunity. 
Ferguson, learning that Captain Smith was in the Em- 
ory Hospital, a wounded prisoner, determined to kill 
him and all the Federal soldiers in the hospital with 
him. This he attempted with only partial success. He 
killed Captain Smith and a few others, and would 
have killed all the Federal prisoners in the hospital, 
the surgeons excepted, but for the prompt interference 
of Maj. W. W. Stringfield, of the Confederate army. 
But I will allow the Major to tell his own story, which 
he does at my request: 


On or about the 6th of October, 1864, when on my way 
from the army of General Early in the Valley of Virginia 
to another part of my command in Western North Carolina 
under Col. William £L Thomas, commanding Thomas's Le- 
gion, located from Asheville to Murphey, and including the 
Cherokee Indians, I ran up against the noted partisan ranger 
Capt. Champ Ferguson, of Harlan County, Ky., the Confed- 
erate outlaw, as the Federals called him. 

I was at Emory only for a day or so on a visit to my mother 
and sisters, who were refugeeing from our burned and deso- 
lated home, at Straw Plains, East Tennessee. Many of the 
ladies of the Emory community by concert of action had as- 
sembled at and around the college, which was being used as a 
Confederate hospital ; and these dear women, as their sisters 
were wont to do all over our beloved Southland, were giving 
to our sick and wounded soldiers such words of cheer and 
such delicacies of food as they so well knew how to give. My 
three sisters were there — Mrs. F- A. Butler, of Nashville, 
Tenn. ; Mrs. Dr. J. S. Kennedy (now in heaven) ; and Mrs. 
J. E. Ray, of Asheville, N. C. I was standing in front of the 
college with Miss Margaret Wiley ; and while I was unarmed, 
I had on my full Confederate major's uniform. In a battle 
a few weeks prior to this General Breckenridge had fought 
and defeated the Federal Generals Burbridge and Hanson at 
or near Saltville, Va., for the control of the salt works. Our 
troops defeated the enemy in a most handsome manner, kill- 
ing, wounding, and capturing many. It was Kentuckian against 
Kentuckian, and Southrons against negroes. These wounded 
Federals included the negroes and also a Federal captain 
of scouts or rangers, Captain Smith. This Smith seems to 
have been an old neighbor of Ferguson's and a bitter war 
time foe. "War to the knife, and the knife to the hilt" was 
the battle cry of both. For several days prior to this numerous 
Kentuckians had been in and out of the hospital, interviewing 
their wounded enemies and old neighbors. In this way they 
had located Captain Smith and General Hanson and doubtless 
had given Captain Ferguson all needed information. Fergu- 
son and his men came in a back way and hitched their horses 


in the near woods, and all came in together, carrying army- 
pistols — rather a desperate-looking crowd. I had no author- 
ity there, and spoke in a friendly manner to them as they 
nearly touched elbows with me in passing. By a prearranged 
plan all passed into the door and at once ran up the main 
stairway to the upper or fourth story, where for safety and 
convenience all the Federals, including several Federal sur- 
geons, had been placed. Only a guard of one soldier had been 
placed at each stairway to keep the Federals upstairs. Fergu- 
son at once took charge of the hospital and, leaving two or 
three men on each flight of steps, ran to the upper story and 
very soon into Captain Smith's room. Encountering the 
guard, he wrenched his gun from his hands, and shot Captain 
Smith with it. Then the bandits ran from room to room, 
searching for Smith's men and for the negro soldiers. They 
killed several of each. There was so much confusion and 
consternation with all of us that none of us knew what was 
best to be done. At the urgent request of Dr. Wiley and 
Professor Longley, I at once assumed command of the post, 
got up a few guns and pistols, stationed additional guards, 
and assured the Federals there that with our lives we would 
protect them. After this a few shots were fired upstairs, but 
the guards on the steps refused to allow any one to pass up. 
Dr. Murphree, in charge of the hospital, having his office in 
the college lawn, was notified and rushed to the rescue, but 
he and all others were halted at the foot of the stairs. Pro- 
fessor Longley rushed out to me and asked my help, and at 
once I responded. Professor Longley cried out to the surging 
crowd, "Get out of the way and let Major Stringfield in;" 
and at once I stood before as stern and desperate a lot of men 
as I ever encountered in peace or war. I grasped the situation 
as well as I was able. There before me on the steps stood 
fifteen or twenty desperate Confederates, with hate and bitter 
and burning wrath gleaming from every eye, with an army 
pistol in each extended right arm. I walked up to the nearest 
one and, in a tone of voice loud enough for all on the steps 
to hear, said: "Who put you here?" "My captain," he an- 
swered. In a sterner voice I asked: "Who is your captain?" 


"Champ Ferguson," he replied, and he was evidently intimi- 
dated somewhat, as were others; but I again spoke out: "All 
you men know that this is an outrageous proceeding, and you 
all know that it is my duty to stop it at the peril of my life, 
and I will stop it." I further said : "Put up your pistols, every 
one of you." Several of them fell back into the corners. When 
the first man said "Champ Ferguson," I knew that I had des- 
peradoes to deal with; but I felt that burning sense of duty 
that always inspires a man who wants to do right and will do 
right. As the man gave the name of Ferguson, several of 
his comrades cursed him and said : "You were told not to tell 
that." But it was out. I was personally acquainted with 
Ferguson, and said so. I rushed up the steps, followed by a 
crowd, and as I ascended I w as stopped by a stern-looking 
soldier, better dressed and more intelligent-looking than any 
of those below. While evidently embarrassed, he presented a 
bold front, and, after halting me, he said : "I don't wish to hurt 
you, but you can't bluff me." He walked to the front of the 
steps, with his pistol squarely in front of my breast, saying: 
"You can't pass me." I replied: "No; and you can't bluff, 
me either. You know that I am doing right and you are doing 
wrong. Put up your pistol and stand aside." It was an in- 
tense moment and full of peril to us both. I looked him 
sternly in the eye, and in ten seconds more would have grasped 
him around the waist and thrown him over the banisters; but 
just then another pistol shot was heard on the upper floor, and 
three or four of the Federal surgeons on that floor made quite 
an outcry. One of them said, "For God's sake don't let these 
men up here kill us all !" and other words to that effect. I 
replied: "I am doing my best to protect you. I will come on 
up or die on these steps." Then I turned to the fellow in 
my front and told him to get out of my way and ordered him 
to put up his pistol. I pushed him vigorously aside and went 
on up. At the top of the stairs Captain Ferguson came rushing 
around the corner, loudly exclaiming: "What in the hell does 
this mean?" I had just about reached the top. I replied: 
"This is hellish business, Captain Ferguson. Aside from the 
fact that one of your men told me you were here, I know you 


myself personally. I met you at Gen. Kirby Smith's head- 
quarters in Knoxville two years ago." About this time Dr. 
Murphree, surgeon in charge of the hospital, in citizen's 
clothes, passed me and laid his hand on Ferguson's shoulder, 
saying, in substance: "Sir, I arrest you. I am in charge of 
this hospital, and you have no business making any disturbance 
here. You must go away or keep quiet." Ferguson jerked 
loose from Dr. Murphree and in a rage thrust a pistol at his 
breast, saying, "Out of my way, or I'll blow your heart out!" 
and out of the way the Doctor got in a flash. I again con- 
fronted him, saying: "I shall not attempt to arrest you, Cap- 
tain Ferguson, but I notify you that you shall not molest any 
one else here unless you do it over my dead body. This is a 
dastardly proceeding. You know it as well as I do." Fergu- 
son looked like a tiger at bay. He had killed Captain Smith ; 
but he intended to kill also General Hanson, the commander 
of the negro troops. He had searched the house for him in 
vain. Hanson, in fact, was in a room across the hall from 
where we were standing, and heard all we said. Finally Fer- 
guson said : "Come on, boys ; we have killed some of the d — d 
scoundrels, and we will come back to-night and kill the bal- 
ance." They all went out. I at once notified General Breck- 
enridge, sending to him by a special messenger an account of 
what had occurred, and I heard the next day that Ferguson 
had been placed under arrest. The fall after the war the 
Federals, after capturing Ferguson, assembled a court-martial 
to try him for this and other offenses. I was arrested and 
sent to Nashville, Tenn., as a witness against him. He was 
convicted and hanged shortly afterwards. 

If Captain Smith had done what he was accused of, 
he got only his just deserts ; but he was a wounded 
prisoner, and it was thought that his wounds were fa- 
tal, and his murder by Ferguson was not only fiendish 
but cowardly. The crime of Captain Smith did not ex- 
cuse the indiscriminate murder of all the Federal pris- 
oners, which Ferguson attempted. 

Conferences of 1865 and 1866. 

The forty-second session of the Conference con- 
vened in Marion, Va., Thursday, September 14, 1865, 
Bishop Early President, and James W. Dickey Secre- 
tary. Bishop Early did not arrive till the second day, 
and Thomas K. Catlett presided the first day. 

As it happened, the writer was the host of the ses- 
sion, being at the time preacher in charge of Marion 

James Atkins was requested by vote of the Confer- 
ence to preach a memorial sermon of all the brethren 
who had died since 1862 except R. M. Stevens, J. M. 
McTeer having previously been appointed to preach a 
memorial sermon of him. 

Dr. Cunnyngham contributed to the profit and pleas- 
ure of the Conference by delivering, at the request of 
the Conference, an account of his labors and experi- 
ences in China. At this session the following were 
elected delegates to the General Conference : E. E. Wi- 
ley, W. G. E. Cunnyngham, James Atkins, James S. 
Kennedy, and J. M. McTeer. Reserves : C. Long and 
G. Taylor. 

David S. Windale was appointed trustee of the 
property bequeathed to the Church by Mrs. Waugh, of 
Ashe County, N. C, and it was ordered that the prop- 
erty be sold and the proceeds turned over to the Trus- 
tees of Holston Conference Female College. 

The report on educatioii brought out the following. 


items : That the interests of education had greatly suf- 
fered in the convulsions through which we had passed ; 
that with a return of peace an unusual desire for edu- 
cational privileges had been awakened in the minds of 
our young people; that all the institutions of learning 
under the care of the Conference had suffered more or 
less in the progress of the war ; that our school build- 
ings, though not destroyed, had been more or less dis- 
mantled; that after a suspension of four years the 
school at Emory and Henry College reopened August 
17 last, and had some fifty students; that while the 
buildings were being used for hospital purposes some 
of the furniture had been destroyed, but that the build- 
ings and grounds had been little damaged, and the li- 
braries, apparatus, chemicals, and cabinet were safe. 

That so little was destroyed, I think I may say, is 
due to the fact that President Wiley and some other 
college officers lived at Emory and exercised an over- 
sight of the property. Indeed, Dr. Wiley was part of 
the time chaplain. of the hospital which had been con- 
ducted in the main building. 

The report shows that Martha Washington College 
was not suspended during the war, but that from time 
to time the pupils had been driven home; that it had 
met its annual expenses; and that the agent had suc- 
ceeded in reducing the debt of the institution from $35,- 
000 to $11,000. This was a payment on the debt of 
$24,000. The minutes show that John Boring was 
agent of the college from October, 1863, to October, 
1864. Confederate money was plentiful and cheap, 
and it was fortunate that the college had in the field so 
available an agent at such a time. Evidently this large 


payment was made in Confederate money, which at the 
time was a greatly depreciated currency. Fortunately 
men could afford to be very liberal with it, and also 
fortunately the creditors were very indulgent in re- 
ceiving it. I remember that during the last year of 
the war I paid forty dollars for a pound of coffee, 
eighteen dollars a yard for tow linen, and purchased a 
ready-made calico dress, paying three hundred dollars 
for it. The lady from whom I bought it wished a few 
weeks later to redeem it ; but I asked her five hundred 
dollars for it, because the currency was decreasing in 
value rapidly. 

It is my purpose in this work to give a history of 
the country, a picture of the people and the times, as 
far as it can be done without departing from my main 
design. Accordingly in this connection I copy an ar- 
ticle from the American showing the comparative 
worthlessness of Confederate money during the last 
year of the war. In the eastern part of the State of 
Virginia prices probably ran higher than in our moun- 
tain, section, owing to the fact that the East had been 
more preyed upon* by armies than the West. But the 
currency depreciation described in this article will ap- 
ply in a measure to all parts of the South. The article 
is headed "A Confederate Christmas," and is as fol- 

Christmas day, 1864, was the Confederate Christmas par 
excellence. Outside supplies of all kinds had disappeared, 
and whatever comforts were provided were of home manu- 
facture. The Confederate dollar was then worth just two cents 
in gold, and flour was $600 a barrel; sugar was $30 a pound; 
salt, $1; butter, $40; and beef, $35 to $40 a pound. Wood 
sold at $100 a cord, and coal was not to be had, save in a few 

CONFERENCES OF 1 865 AND 1 866. 403 

of the cities, owing to scarcity of transportation. The day- 
was Sabbath, which in itself would have tempered the usual 

At a country residence below Richmond, Va., and not far 
from the lines of the contending armies, a party of seven — 
ladies and gentlemen in all the strictest Southern sense of the 
term — were assembled at dinner. The mansion had been 
proverbial for its hospitality before the war. Now the wel- 
come was as cordial as ever, but the board was spread in ac- 
cordance with the necessities of the times. At the head of 
the table was placed a large ham, worth $300 ; at the foot was 
the last turkey the farm could boast, worth $175. The vege- 
tables consisted of cabbage, potatoes, and hominy, worth at 
a reasonable calculation $100. Corn bread was served, flour 
having been unknown in this house for months. The meal 
of which it was made was worth $80 a bushel and the salt 
that seasoned it $1 a pound. Dessert there was none, but in 
its place the hostess provided a coarse, black molasses that 
was worth $60 a gallon. The same kind lady, as a rare treat 
for her guests, brought out with a glow of pride a steaming 
urn of real tea — not sassafras — worth $100 a pound, at the 
same time warning the company that they must expect but 
one cup apiece, as this was the last of her store. After this 
there was "coffee" made from sweet potatoes cut into little 
bits, toasted brown, and ground into powder. Such was a 
Confederate Christmas dinner in the last winter of the war. 
From this superb repast the scale descended to army rations — ■ 
a bit of salt pork, corn bread, and sweet potato coffee without 

The ladies' toilets the writer cannot venture to describe, 
but they were largely made up of "homemade" articles in the 
fashion prevailing at the commencement of the war. The 
tresses of one were fastened with "Confederate hairpins," 
made of long black thorns, with the heads tipped with sealing 
wax, and the dress was of simple homespun. With the ex- 
ception of the master of the house, whose age compelled him 
to pursue the ways of peace, the gentlemen were in uniform, 
two being officers and two privates from the neighboring lines. 


The country road beyond the farm was lined with slowly mov 
ing trains of army wagons, and occasionally a small party c 
cavalry would pass by at a sharp trot. From the windows o 
the mansion thin, light clouds of smoke could be seen risin 
from the camp fires on the lines, and now and then the du 
thud of a heavy gun would break the stillness of the scen< 
and a fleecy cloud would rise over the tree tops and melt awa 
in the air. . 

But to return to the proceedings of the Conference 
The educational report represented that Holston Con 
f erence Female College had suffered during the wa: 
in the destruction of furniture and. in damage to- tin 
buildings, library, etc.; also that there was hanging 
over the institution a debt of $14,000 which threatenec 
to destroy its usefulness. 

In regard to Athens Female College I copy from th< 
Journal the following paragraph: 

The Athens Female College is represented as embarrasset 
by conflicting claims. Dr.' Rowley, its President, has upon ; 
personal claim against the institution filed a bill in Chancer 
asking that a sale of the property be made -in thirty day: 
without redemption. Your, committee would recommend tha 
immediate steps be taken by this Conference to induce th< 
trustees of the college to demand an investigation of the claim; 
of Dr. Rowley and to file a cross bill asking that the right oi 
redemption be reserved to them in case the property is sold 
The committee would further recommend that Rev. C. Long 
and Rev. James Atkins be appointed as agents to see that th( 
wishes of this Conference be carried into immediate effect. 

Along with the other items of the report, this item 
was adopted. Further action in regard to this prop- 
erty was taken at the Conference of 1866, which I 
shall advert to in its place. 

The most important act of this session was the 
adoption of the report on the state of the Church ; and 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. 4O5 

as it is a historical paper of importance, I copy it in 
full as follows : 

The Committee on the State of the Church beg leave to re- 

After collecting the facts from our brethren, who are here 
from our various fields of labor, as to the condition of our 
Churches within the bounds of the Holston Conference, and 
after reviewing calmly the events that have transpired in the 
last four years, now that the smoke of battle has cleared away 
and excitement subsided, your committee felt it to be an imper- 
ative duty to examine the official acts of this body at their late 
sessions, that if wrongs had been done to any party or par- 
ties by these acts they might be now promptly confessed and 
removed, and that we might show to all that it is our pur- 
pose to cherish the spirit of Christ and to practice the pre- 
cepts of the gospel. Guided by this view, we recommend for 
adoption by this Conference the following preamble and reso- 
lutions : 

Whereas loyalty to the government under which we live is 
a Christian duty, so taught in the Scriptures as well as in the 
Discipline of our Church ; and whereas the Federal Govern- 
ment has now reestablished itself over these United States ; 
and whereas some of the acts of this Conference passed at its 
sessions held at Athens in '62, Wytheville in '63, and Bristol in 
'64 might be so construed as to place us in the attitude of dis- 
loyalty to the government under which we now live; and 
whereas duty requires that we clearly define our position 
touching these matters ; therefore 

Resolved, That we are and intend to be loyal citizens of the 
government of the United States, and that any acts heretofore 
passed by this Conference which are in conflict with this 
declaration are hereby rescinded. 

Resolved, That the action of this Conference at Athens, by 
which John Spears was expelled and W. H. H. Duggan was 
suspended for twelve months, and the action at Wytheville, 
by which Jonathan L. Mann, William H. Rogers, William 
Milburn, and William H. H. Duggan were expelled, and the 


action at Bristol, by which James dimming, Jesse A. Hyden 
and Thomas H. Russell were expelled, was hasty ; and sine 
we cannot legally restore them here, we do instruct our dele 
gates to the next General Conference to ask that body to do so 

Resolved, That the taking of the amnesty oath, or the oatl 
of allegiance required by the government of the United State; 
is .the duty of Christian ministers ; -and we have accordingly 
taken such oath, that by precept and example we might teacl 
the Christian doctrine of loyalty. 

Resolved, That if any brother has ■ withdrawn from thii 
Conference and connected himself with any other ecclesiastica 
body under a misapprehension of any kind, but now desire; 
to return, he shall be cordially received by us. But while youi 
committee believe that the passage of these resolutions is ai 
act of justice to all the parties concerned, they do not forge 
their relations to the M. E. Church, South, nor their obliga- 
tion to sustain her discipline and polity and to preach that 
gospel which God has heretofore so signally blessed. While we 
mourn the desolations which war has spread around us, we 
feel at the same time profoundly grateful to God that we are 
not utterly consumed. Our Church — the vine which his owr 
right hand hath planted and which he hath caused to take deej 
root, so that it hath covered our hills and valleys with the 
shadow thereof, sent out her boughs unto the seas and her 
branches unto the river, though her hedges have been broken 
down and the boar out of the wood and the wild beast of the 
field have wasted and devoured it — thanks to the Great Head of 
the Church, still lives. With our thanksgivings let there also be 
heard our earnest prayers: "Turn us again, O Lord God of 
hosts, cause thy face to shine upon us, and we shall be saved.' 1 

In addressing ourselves to the work of rebuilding the waste 
places of our Zion we must never lose sight either of the 
spirit or of the principles which should control ministers of 
the gospel. Christ and his apostles are our exemplars. Their 
spirit we must imbibe and cherish ; their rules of conduct in 
the great work of soul-saving must be ours. If he who has 
not the spirit of Christ is none of his, so neither is he who 
walks not in his footsteps. 

CONFERENCES OF 1 865 AND 1 866. 407 

The gospel bf Jesus Christ, we firmly believe, furnishes the 
only remedy for all the maladies, national and political, social 
and personal, which are torturing our race. But the exhibi- 
tion and application of this remedy should be not to nations 
and communities as such but to the individuals comprising 
them. It attacks sin on whosesoever skirts it be found. It 
associates never with iniquity, but at the same time it never 
meddles either with the relations established by Heaven among 
men or with any which are recognized and regulated by the 
divine word. It prescribes the specific duties that arise in 
each relation; so that parent and child, husband and wife, 
governors and governed, masters and servants may know and 
do that which is acceptable unto the Lord. This gospel is now 
what it has always been and ever will be — the power of God 
unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew and to 
the Gentile, to the bond and to the free, to the colored man 
and to the white man. Changeless in its nature, transforming 
in its effects, when its power shall subsidize and leaven each 
particle of the entire moral mass, this wilderness shall become 
an Eden, this earth a heaven. A minister of this gospel must 
be a man of one vocation. He can be neither a politician nor 
an agent for a government. Having received his commission 
from God, he can neither seek nor accept another from 
Caesar, except in so far as it may clear his way for easier ac- 
cess to the hearts of men. He attempts neither to set up nor 
to pull down governments, imbibes not the spirit of the revo- 
lutionist, nor assumes the uniform of the warrior. His in- 
spiration kindles not in the sight of martial splendors, nor 
in the sound of martial thunders, but in the light and fervor 
of the sublime truths of Him who said, "My kingdom is not 
of this world," and again, "Let the dead bury their dead, but 
go thou and preach the gospel." 

That slavery as it existed among us is dead is a fact which 
we accept. Let us bury it out of our sight. The negro race, 
however, responsible in no way for this result, is entitled to 
our Christian sympathies and efforts, that he may receive the 
benefits of the blessed gospel. With such views of our rela- 
tions and duties come we to the work of spreading scriptural 


holiness over these lands. With our publishing facilities great- 
ly crippled, with finances disordered, with schools scarcely 
alive, wifeh backslidings in the Church and demoralization 
throughout society, how appropriate. Christ's words: "Lift 
up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white -al- 
ready unto the harvest !" Toil and self-sacrifice await the 
laborer. If the loye of Christ constrain him not, he will soon 
leave the field. Adapting ourselves and our machinery to the 
.altered circumstances surrounding us with an elasticity for 
which Methodism has ever been distinguished, regarding as 
did our founder "the world as our parish," we seek the fellow- 
ship of those only who are in sympathy with us ; but all such 
we invite cordially to become colaborers in our work of faith 
and labor of love. Personal religion is the great want of our 
Church in her ministry and in her membership. With it we 
prosper; without it we perish. 

With all our energies directed to meet this want we cannot 
fail, with the divine blessing, of the greatest spiritual results, 
and our Zion may yet become the praise of the whole earth. 
Finally we recommend the adoption of the following resolu- 
tion : 

Resolved, That as members of the Holston Conference in 
the discharge of ministerial duties we will, endeavor with 
Christian submission to the established government and in 
the spirit of Jesus Christ and of his apostles to preach the 
gospel in its fullness to all men in all life's relations, eschew- 
ing all political complications, seeking the fellowship and 
help of all who are one with us in spirit, faith, and purpose, 
and beseeching all others in the name of the God of love to 
permit us in the unity of the spirit and bond of peace to per- 
suade men ail over these lands in Christ's stead* to become 
reconciled to God. 

E. E. Wiley, F. M. Fanning, 

James Atkins, C. Long, 


J..M. McTeer, 
This report was composed by Dr. Wiley. In spirit 
it is quite an improvement on the preamble to the re- 

CONFERENCES OF 1 865 AND 1 866. 409 

port of the committee of investigation of 1862. The 
two reports were clearly a case of before taking and 
after taking, or rather it reminds us of the story of 
the gored ox in Webster's old spelling book, of which 
the moral was : "Circumstances alter cases." 

Fortunately, while the Wiley report was a matter of 
policy, it was also in its very nature a matter of prin- 
ciple. It was a case where considerations of policy 
compelled men to do what was right and what should 
have been done if those considerations had not ex- 
isted. I hold that, even if the Confederacy had tri- 
umphed, the Conference should have recanted its ac- 
tion in the cases of the Union preachers as far as it 
had power to do so. 

Such is the law of polarity that one extreme pro- 
duces another; and it looks almost as if in the cases 
of the Union preachers the Holston Conferences of 
1862, 1863, and 1864 were attempting to emulate the 
Baltimore Conference of 1844, which suspended Mr. 
Harding from the ministry by mere resolution, or the 
General Conference of 1844, which suspended Bishop 
Andrew from the bishopric by mere resolution, and 
that too without just moral or ecclesiastical grounds of 
procedure in either case. The error committed by the 
Holston Conference, which it now proposed to correct, 
was twofold: the confounding of political with moral 
offenses and the practical deprivation of ministers of 
the right of trial. 

But our preachers were at that time in no situation to 
reflect soberly. Our beautiful Southland had been in- 
vaded by an insolent and powerful foe that came to 
insult, to kill, to burn, and to destroy. It was the cul- 


mination of years of growing hate. Our preachers did 
not know how to look upon a Northern sympathizer 
with any kind of toleration. But the men of the South 
were not the only sinners in those days ; there was an 
equal fanaticism in the Methodist Church (North), 
whose Conferences by emphatic resolutions hissed on 
the dogs of war. 

A short time after the war I was passing through 
East Tennessee by railway; and while the other pas- 
sengers were eating at the railroad hotel at Jonesboro, 
I walked to the main street of the town and found Col. 
Leonidas Houk addressing a crowd in the street and 
advising them to cowhide the rebels. Some twenty 
years afterwards I was introduced to Colonel Houk in 
Knoxville. He was at that time a member of Con- 
gress. While shaking hands with him I reminded 
him of having heard that speech. He replied: "I am 
sorry you did, for we were crazy then ; but the war is 

The same bishop presided in the Conference of 
1865 that presided in that of 1862 — the same only in 
name, for now he was broad, liberal, tolerant. He had 
many kind words to say about Mr. President Johnson, 
and he offered no objection to the resolutions which in 
effect declared his former rulings improper and ille- 
gal. He even invited to his room the recalcitrant 
brother who had openly antagonized his administration, 
and consulted him about the appointments of certain 


Admitted on trial: Jacob T. Frazier, Charles T. Carroll. 

Received by transfer: Jacob Brillhart. 

Located: 'James T. Smith, W. H. Howell, T. F. Smith, 
Samuel D. Gaines. 


Superannuated: T. K. Catlett, Joseph Haskew, Daniel B. 
Carter, Wiley B. Winton, Timothy Sullins, R. W. Patty, 
Thomas K. Munsey, W. Robeson, W. H. Kelley. 

Expelled : Abram Weaver. 

Withdrawn from the Church: Samuel B. Harwell, David 
Fleming, W. C. Graves, Joshua B. Little, Andrew J. Greer, 
L. W. Crouch, F. D. Crumley, John W. Mann, James Ma- 
honey, F. M. Fanning, A. F. English. 

Died : E. C. Wexler, J. R. Ballew. 

Numbers in society : .White, 46,069; colored, 4,581. Total, 
50,650. Increase, 120. 

Local preachers, 339; traveling preachers, 102. 

The expulsion and the withdrawals did not appear 
in the General Minutes — why I know not. Of those 
who withdrew from the Church, Samuel B. Harwell, 
L. W. Crouch, F. D. Crumley, and James Mahoney 
subsequently returned to the Church and Conference. 

The claims on the Conference fund amounted to $2,- 
915, and the receipts to $239.10 — a little more than 
eight per cent. The number of Sunday schools report- 
ed was 114; officers and teachers, 662; scholars, 4,460. 
These figures show the results of the ravages of the 

Mr. Harwell has been sketched. 

David Fleming was above the average size, a man 
of average talent, with a reasonably good common 
school education. He was a man of deep and uniform 
piety. As circuit preacher and presiding elder he was 
always exemplary and useful. Never brilliant, he 
sometimes preached with spiritual power and effect. 
He was an honest Union man. Col. John Fleming, his 
son, was a graduate of Emory and Henry College — a 
man of a high order of talent and one of the ablest ed- 
itors and editorial writers of the nation. He ranked as 


a writer with such men as Daniel, Holden, Prentice, 
Watterson, and Carmack. 

William C. Graves had a long and useful career. 
The amount of work which he did was prodigious. 
His education was respectable, and he spoke and wrote 
correctly. His sermons were solid and substantial rath- 
er than showy. He appealed to the understanding 
rather than to the emotions. He was always serious, 
but never melancholy ; he was always cheerful and 
hopeful, but never frivolous. He was imperturbably 
good-natured, speaking evil of no one and never re- 
turning railing for railing. He was steadfast and im- 
movable in his convictions of truth and in the dis- 
charge of duty. He could not be driven. He was for 
many years Secretary of the Holston Conference, 
South. A short time before the Civil War he edited and 
published the Religions Intelligencer at Morristown, 
Tenn. The paper espoused the cause of the Southern 
States in the national quarrel. During the war he 
was understood to be a Southern man ; and his friends 
were surprised when, at the close of the war, he trans- 
ferred his membership to the Holston Conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. He had never been 
an ultra proslavery man, and the Church, South, had 
been so dismantled by the war that he believed that its 
reconstruction was impossible; and being offered a 
charge in the Holston Conference (North), with some- 
thing like an adequate support, he accepted it. Later, 
as I think, he saw his mistake, but at his age he did not 
deem it best to correct it. He, however, cheerfully al- 
lowed his family to choose their Church relations for 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. 4I3 

themselves ; and I believe I am safe in saying that most 
of his posterity are Southern Methodists. 

Mr. Graves wrote much for the religious papers, and 
he always wrote well. For many years he was a pre- 
siding elder in the Church, South, and he was always 
in favor with his preachers and the people. He was 
a great advocate of temperance and prohibition, and 
did much to promote the Sunday school cause in this 
country. He lived many years after the war, did reg- 
ular work in the Methodist Episcopal Church a part 
of the time, and, though a superannuate for the last 
few years of his life, he preached much and worked 
much for the cause of Christ. He did what he could. 

Joshua B. Little was a corpulent, good-natured man. 
He preached a fair sermon, and he practiced the Chris- 
tianity which he preached. He was never bigoted or 
bitter. He exerted a gracious influence in the many 
communities where he lived and on the many congrega- 
tions to whom he broke the bread of life. 

L. W. Crouch was a loving and lovable man of mod- 
erate ability. His preaching was fluent and animated, 
and it pleased the masses. 

F. D. Crumley returned to the Church, South, and 
died in it. 

John W. Mann became a prominent man in the Hol- 
ston Conference (North). He was a man of superior 
gifts and a man of peace. 

James Mahoney eventually died in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South. While a preacher of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church he was seized by a band 
of brigands that were doing service to the cause of the 
restored Union by whipping "rebels" and "rebel preach- 


ers," and was severely scourged. Finding the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church to be to him otherwise than 
an. ark of safety, he returned to his old Conference. 
Mahoney lived to an advanced age and was a grand 
old man. I have heard this story on him : Bishop Har- 
grove in holding District Conferences used to furnish, 
the preachers with a long printed list of questions 
which they were expected to answer in writing, and 
they read these questions and answers in open Confer- 
ence as their reports. One of the questions was : "How 
is the attendance upon public worship?" Mahoney 's 
answer was: "Not good." The next question was: 
"By what methods do you stimulate attendance?" Ma- 
honey's answer was : "Not." The Bishop, surprised at 
this laconic answer, said : "Brother, what do you mean 
by 'not?' " Mahoney replied with some spirit: "You're 
a pretty bishop not to know the meaning of the word 

Francis M. Fanning was above mediocrity as a 
preacher. He was a good circuit preacher and an ef- 
ficient presiding elder. He was a man of fine social 
qualities, genial and communicative, but always sober 
and prudent. He was all sunshine. He sang well and 
was pathetic in his sermons and exhortations. He must 
have done a great deal of good in his lifetime, which 
was long. During the Civil War he was not in hearty 
sympathy with the cause of the South, but he prudent- 
ly avoided an open rupture with his Conference. After 
the war an agent of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
visited his home and offered him a presiding eldership 
in that Church, with a salary of $1,500 a year. His 
devotion to his Church, already weakened by his polit- 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. 415 

ical leanings and by the unfortunate action of his Con- 
ference in the cases of Union preachers, went down 
before the influence of this offer. At that time the 
Southern Church looked like a poor field for a living 
to her preachers. The Northern Church, with a ple- 
thoric missionary treasury, held out powerful induce- 
ments to men who either loved or needed money. The 
money argument was, however, only one of the many 
influences that induced Mr. Fanning to make the 
change. But he continued to be a man of prayer and 
to preach a whole Christ to a dying world. Men who 
changed under the circumstances in which some of our 
preachers found themselves at the close of the war 
should not be judged harshly. The influence of infe- 
rior motives in the formation of character is not to be 
despised. The lives of all men are more or less shaped 
by such motives. Absolute disinterestedness is per- 
haps never attained in this life, and we do not know 
certainly that it will be attained even in the life to 
come. While selfishness is a sin, self-love is an insep- 
arable ingredient of human nature. 

Edwin C. Wexler was in some regards an extraordi- 
nary man. He was reared on a farm and brought up 
at common labor. He had a good common school ed- 
ucation, but had no academic advantages. His fa- 
ther, however, had a well-selected library, consisting 
largely of religious biographies and theological works. 
This library young Edwin read of nights and rainy 
days. Before he entered the ministry he had devoured 
and digested this library, and much of it had gone to 
mental and moral tissue. 

He was born in Sullivan County, Tenn., August 31, 


1828. He joined the Methodist Church when quite 
young, and joined as a seeker of religion. He read the 
Scriptures and led a life of prayer some months before 
he received the witness of the Spirit to the fact of his 
filial relation to God. He was admitted into the Hol- 
ston Conference in 1850, along with David Sullins, the 
writer, and four others. I can safely say that when 
Wexler joined the Conference he ranked as a preacher 
with the best of preachers in the connection. He 
seemed to be . full grown at the start. This fact was 
due to a very superior intellect, a superior elocution, 
and a mind stored with the best thoughts and verbiage 
of some of the greatest thinkers and writers of the 
Church. To these causes ■ of his immediate success 
should be added a thorough regeneration and an ab- 
solute confidence in the Bible as the word of God and 
in Jesus Christ as his personal Redeemer. His mind 
was of logical build. His sermons were vertebrate! 
Each sermon developed a leading idea in all its normal 
and logical branches. The argument was obvious from 
beginning to end, and an intelligent listener could have 
gone away and repreached his sermons almost word 
for word. Besides, in the pulpit he was greatly in ear- 
nest. His delivery was forcible and pathetic, and the 
body of the discourse was usually followed by earnest 
appeals to the moral sensibilities of his hearers. It is 
therefore not wonderful that he was in demand in the 
best places in the Conference, that the people loved 
and admired him, and that he was successful in saving 
souls and in building up the people of God on their 
most holy faith. 

His charges were as follows ; Waynesville, Tazewell, 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. 4I7 

and Hendersonville Circuits ; Abingdon, Knoxville, and 
Chattanooga Stations ; and Wytheville District. From 
Chattanooga Station he entered the Confederate army 
as the chaplain of the Thirty-Seventh Tennessee Reg- 
iment, but later he became the chaplain of the Twenty- 
Ninth North Carolina Regiment. 

While in charge of Asheville Station before the 
war he was the picture of health, and had a broad, 
deep chest, with a clear, strong voice ; but one day he 
startled me by saying: "I fear that my lungs are affect- 
ed." He was right. Tuberculosis had developed, and 
in a few years it had wrecked one of the finest consti- 
tutions in the country. When he found that he had 
pulmonary consmption, he entered the army, hoping 
that an outdoor life might check the progress of the 
destroyer ; but in this he was disappointed. His health 
gradually giving away, he was taken from the field and 
assigned to duty as post chaplain successively at Cleve- 
land and Chattanooga, Term., and Lagrange, Ga. At 
the last-mentioned place he died April 11, 1865. 

The Rev. F. A. Kimball, at whose home he died, 
says: "I was intimately associated with him for eight- 
een months, the last two of which he spent at my home, 
where I witnessed his sufferings and did all that was 
in my power to relieve them. He was remarkably pa- 
tient and resigned to the will of God." 

He sent the following messages to his relatives : 

Although my life has been made up of many errors and 
imperfections, yet my purpose has ever been to do right; and 
now I feel that all is well between me and my Maker through 
the atonement of Christ and his abundant grace. My only 
hope is Christ ; nothing I have done. 

Tell my father I have a confident assurance that it ^"svill 


not be long until we shall meet in a better world. Tell mother 
I hope she will follow on in the same good way. Tell Brother 
G. there is nothing worth living for but heaven. Tell D. (my 
only full brother) I have loved him more than any one living. 
Though I was sadly grieved with him in regard to our na- 
tional difficulties, these things are all past with me now, and 
I hope they are with him and* hope we will not be less happy 
in heaven in consequence of them. Tell Brother J. there is 
a divine reality in religion. I have tested it through life in 
sickness and health, in ten thousand trials, and found it to 
be the one thing needful. 

As he drew nearer and nearer to the grave, his faith 
grew stronger and his hopes brighter even to a perfect 
triumph over death. He was rational to the last mo- 
ment, and passed away with an unclouded prospect of 
a glorious immortality. His remains were interred at 
Lagrange, Ga./ by the ladies of the Confederate Memo- 
rial Association. The inscription placed by them on 
the stone was simply: "Mr. Wexler." They did not 
know his full name, and also were mistaken in suppos- 
ing that he was a chaplain of a Kentucky regiment. 

Mr. Wexler was of German stock. He was above 
the average in size, heavy-set and lubberly. His phys- 
ical make-up showed the warping effects of long-con- 
tinued, hard manual labor. For that reason he was re- 
puted to be awkward, but really he was not; he was 
as graceful in his movements as his physical structure 
would allow, and he acquired readily the etiquette of 
good society. He had a keen eye, but a receding fore- 
head and a face lacking in beauty, which did not indi- 
cate intellect to the casual beholder; yet when he was 
preaching his face shone with the transfiguration of 

"Obituary notice in the Conference Journal. 

CONFERENCES OF 1 865 AND 1 866. 4I9 

thought and holy emotion, and for the time being he 
was really handsome. 

During the Conference year 1865-66 Joshua Roberts, 
of Asheville, N. C, passed away. I knew him well and 
favorably, and often enjoyed his ungrudging hospital- 
ity, as did also many other preachers. He was a law- 
yer who depended for his success more on his knowl- 
edge of law and a careful preparation of his cases than 
upon powers of oratory. He was born in Shelby, N. C, 
February 5 ; 1795. Mrs. Lucinda Roberts, his wife, 
was a daughter of Col. Johu Patton, and was born 
near Asheville July 22, 1802. Their home was about 
a mile and a half from the Buncombe Courthouse and 
within a few hundred feet of what is now the passenger 
station of the Southern Railway. Their farm consist- 
ed in part of some rich alluvial bottoms along the 
French Broad River, which furnished a comfortable 

Mr. Roberts's people were Baptists, and Mrs. Rob- 
erts's were Presbyterians. She was among the first 
members of the Methodist Church in Asheville, if not 
the first member, and she was certainly one of the 
most active and influential members. Mr. Roberts did 
not join the Church till late in life, although he evi- 
dently led a Christian life many years before he at- 
tached himself to the Church. Possibly his Baptist 
bias held him off. But Mrs. Roberts always held fam- 
ily prayers up to the date of his joining the Church, 
and she prayed in the public congregation when called 

They had nine children, four sons and five daugh- 
ters. Two of the daughters became the wives of 


Methodist preachers. Harriet was married to the Rev. 
William M. Kerr September 13, 1849; an d Sarah was 
married to the Rev. Randolph Dulaney Wells Novem- 
ber 30, 1849. 

Joshua Roberts's home was always a home for 
preachers, especially for Methodist preachers. Mrs. 
Roberts was a model housekeeper, and her table was 
always supplied with viands prepared in the most at- 
tractive style. This home was also a refuge for the 
orphan. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts reared to womanhood 
two nieces, who were .married at this home. Like 
the woman of Shunem, they always kept" a prophet's 

Mr. Roberts died November 21, 1865; and Mrs. 
Roberts December 21, 1869. They were good folks, 
and always had plenty around them, and they were al- 
ways willing to divide it with those who were in need. 
The war utterly wiped out the estate, and it was per- 
haps this fact that caused Mr. Roberts's death, when 
it occurred. Mr. Edward Aston, who married one of 
the nieces, once remarked that he was unable to see any 
other cause for it. All of his children are now in the 
spirit land except Mrs. George W. Whitson, who lives 
in Asheville. 

I should have stated that soon after Mr. Roberts 
joined the Church he was appointed class leader of the 
Asheville Church, and he held this office for many 
years. • Shrinking and modest as he was, he was en- 
abled by grace to discharge his duties ; and he held his 
class meetings in the old-fashioned style, talking per- 
sonally to each person present. 

Aurelia, the oldest child, married Col. John Christy, 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. \2 1 

of Georgia. He was a newspaper man, and, associated 
with Mr. Roberts, he started the first newspaper ever 
published in Asheville, the Highland Messenger. Col. 
Christy later established the Watchman in Athens, Ga., 
and ran it till the time of his death. About the close 
of the Civil War he was elected to Congress, but was 
not permitted to take his seat. 

Philetus Roberts, Esq., the eldest son, was a suc- 
cessful lawyer. He was a consistent Methodist and a 
man of great probity. At the beginning of the war he 
was elected first lieutenant of the Rough and Ready 
Guards, a company of which Zebulon B. Vance was 
captain. On Vance's appointment to the colonelcy of 
the Twenty-Sixth Regiment of North Carolina Volun- 
teers, Roberts became captain of the company, which 
was in the Fourteenth Regiment. On the death of 
Colonel Daniel, who was killed in battle, Captain Rob- 
erts was appointed colonel, and he held this office at 
the time of his death, which occurred of typhoid fever 
in Richmond July 5, 1862. He left a widow and five 
children. None of these survive (1910) except his 
widow 1 and one child, Mrs. E. S. Clayton, who mar- 
ried a grandson of Mr. Ephraim Clayton. 

The Conference met in its forty-third session in the 
college chapel, Asheville, N. C, Wednesday, October 
10, 1866, Bishop Holland N. McTyeire President, John 
H. Brunner Secretary, and Jacob R. Payne and James 
K. Stringfield Assistants. 

A communication was received from the Rev. C. W. 
Charlton, editor of the late Holston Journal, express- 

1 Died in 1911. 


ing a willingness to resume the publication of that pa- 
per, and it was referred to the Committee on Books 
and Periodicals. The committee made the following 
report, which was adopted: 

We appreciate the good faith of the Rev. C. W. Charlton 
in his proposition to resume the publication of said journal 
at any cost or sacrifice ; but owing to the embarrassed condi- 
tion of our people financially, and in view of the number of 
our Church papers already revived, we do not deem it ad- 
visable to resume the publication of said journal. Neverthe- 
less it is the sense of this Conference as to the Holston Jour- 
nal that he should furnish the subscribers to said paper with 
the Christian Advocate to the value of the amounts due 
them, and further that he should furnish the Sunday School 
Visitor as soon as practicable to the subscribers to the Child's 

From this report we learn that Mr. Charlton had 
been publishing a 'child's paper. If I remember cor- 
rectly, all subscriptions to the Journal and Casket 
were paid in advance. When the Federals captured 
Knoxville, Mr. Charlton refugeed in the South, and the 
publication of his papers was suspended, of course. 
The refunding exaction by the Conference was rather 
rigorous. When Air. Charlton proposed to renew the 
publication of the Journal, it seems to me that this 
was a lawful tender to the subscribers, and that the 
Conference in refusing the proposal assumed all re- 
sponsibility as to the losses thus occasioned. The 
Conference seemed to think that the editor was bound 
to bear alone the results of the disaster of the suspen- 
sion of his papers by the military occupation of Knox- 
ville, and that the subscribers were under no obligation 
to share his losses ; but I think otherwise. 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. 423 

The financial loss to Mr. Charlton was heavy, and 
I am sure that no intelligent subscribers ever wished 
remuneration for the little Confederate money which 
they had paid out for the paper. Probably the most 
that any man was out was three dollars in Confederate 
money, which at the time of payment was about equiv- 
alent to fifty cents in silver. I think it was a mis- 
take that Mr. Charlton was not permitted to resume 
the publication of the Journal; and I am sure that the 
Holston people were just as able to support that paper 
as were the subscribers of the Nashville Christian Ad- 
vocate, the Southern Christian Advocate (at Augusta, 
Ga.), and the Episcopal Methodist (at Baltimore), t 
which the Conference named with approbation. 

The last General Conference had provided for two 
missionary boards in each Conference, the foreign and 
domestic; and at this session the Conference adopted 
a constitution and elected officers for its domestic 

The organization of the Holston Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, with the intention of seiz- 
ing and holding many of the churches and parsonages 
of our Church, had raised the question of titles to 
Church property to an unusual importance, and the 
General Conference had accordingly directed the Con- 
ferences to look narrowly into this subject. In pur- 
suance of this action, the Conference appointed a com- 
mittee to operate during the coming year, to which the 
preachers were to report the precise condition of each 
piece of property in the Conference. The committee 
consisted of James Atkins, Carroll Long, and George 


The Conference resolved to organize a Historical 
Society, and a committee consisting of Frank Rich- 
ardson, R. N. Price, and J. S. Kennedy was appoint- 
ed to draft a constitution for the Society. This was 
done, and the following officers were elected: E. E. 
Wiley, President; William Robeson, Vice President; 
J. K. Stringfield, Secretary ; William M. Kerr, Treas- 
urer; W. G. E. Cunnyngham, F. Richardson, R. N. 
Price, and J. S. Kennedy, Committee of Correspond- 

The Bishop submitted to the Conference for its ac- 
tion a proposition sent down from the General Con- 
ference to change the name of the Church to "Episco- 
pal Methodist Church." A motion being made to con- 
cur, there were on roll call fifty-one votes for and two 
votes against the motion. The two negative votes were 
those of Jacob Smith and S. S. Grant. The proposi- 
tion did not meet with the same favor in other Confer- 
ences, and the change was not made. 

On the proposition sent down from the General Con- 
ference for the adoption of lay representation the votes 
stood forty-one for to seven against. The negative 
votes were cast by McTeer, Hyden, Bishop, Miller, 
Wheeler, Nuckolls, and Stevens. 

One of the most important votes of this session was 
the adoption of a constitution for the organization of 
District Conferences within the Conference. The bish- 
op appointed W. M. Kerr and J. S. Kennedy to draft a 
plan of District Conferences. They reported, and the 
report was adopted. It was as follows : 

Whereas the late General Conference adopted a plan of lay 
representation in the Annual and General Conferences and 

Conferences of 1865 and 1866. 42$ 

submitted the same to the several Annual Conferences for 
ratification or rejection, and in case of ratification empowered 
each Annual Conference to devise its own plan for the elec- 
tion of lay delegates from the several presiding elders' dis- 
tricts of the same — therefore 

Resolved, That in the contingency named this business shall 
be transacted by District Conferences to be constituted as 
follows : 

1. A meeting of all the traveling preachers and official 
members of the stations, circuits, and missions within each 
presiding elder's district shall be called annually by the pre- 
siding elder thereof at such a time as he shall specify and at 
such a place as he shall designate for the first meeting. 

2. In the absence of a bishop the presiding elder of the 
district shall preside in* the Conference, and in the absence of 
both the Conference shall elect its own presiding officer. 

3. The Conference shall elect a secretary to keep a record 
of the proceedings of the body, and to his office the duty of 
treasurer shall also be appended. 

4. It shall be the duty of the District Conference to adopt 
such measures for the advancement of the interests of the 
Church in its bounds as it may deem best consistently with 
the laws of the Church, according to an order of business 
adopted by the same. It shall also appoint the place of its 
own meeting. 

5. If the plan of lay delegation shall become a law of the 
Church, it shall also be the business of the District Confer- 
ence to elect delegates to the Annual Conference, provided 
that no traveling preacher who has a vote in the Annual Con- 
ference shall vote on : fhis question in the District Conference. 

6. The holding of District Conferences shall not be con- 
tingent upon the final adoption of lay representation by the 

I have not the minutes of the General Conference of 
1866 before me, but my recollection is that attempts 
were made to have enacted a District Conference law, 
which failed. The. advantage taken by the Holston 


Conference of the authority conferred upon it to adopt 
its own method of appointing lay delegates to the An- 
nual and General Conferences in inaugurating the Dis- 
trict Conference system was therefore not only cun- 
ning but statesmanlike. Relegating the election of lay 
delegates to the District Conference made that Confer- 
ence as legal as if it had been directly legislated into 
existence by the General Conference. The Holston 
District Conference constitution was the first in the 
connection. All the other Annual Conferences of the 
Church, I believe, adopted the same constitution with 
modifications. Some of them made the delegates to 
the Annual Conference elective by the Quarterly Con- 
ference. The General Conference of 1870 enacted a 
District Conference constitution substantially the same 
with the one adopted by the Holston Conference in 
1866. But delegates to the Annual Conference were 
made elective by the Quarterly Conference. An effort 
was made to eliminate the democratic feature which 
allowed the District Conference, in the absence of both 
the bishop and the presiding elder, to elect any member 
of the body to the chairmanship, and to make only eld- 
ers eligible to that position ; but it failed. 

In 1859 Coleman Campbell was tried before the Con- 
ference on charges of immorality. The committee 
method of irial had not at that time come into use. 
He was erq-elled from the Church, but appealed to the 
General Conference, which was to meet in 1862, but 
was prevented from meeting by the state of the coun- 
try. Tl?e papers in this case were lost during the war ; 
and the General Conference of 1866, not having the 
record of the trial before it, remanded the case for a 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND 1 866- 4 2 7 

new trial ; but the Conference dismissed the case, thus 
restoring Mr. Campbell to the Church and ministry. 
He was appointed to Murphy Circuit in 1867 and 1868, 
and to Madisonville Circuit in 1869. While he was on 
that circuit, rumors affecting his moral character hav- 
ing been put into circulation, he resigned the ministry 
and turned over his parchments to his presiding elder. 
But he continued to preach independently where he 
lived, in Macon County, N. C, and was finally re- 
licensed. Campbell 'was a natural orator, a man of 
extraordinary imagination. He preached sermons of 
considerable eloquence and apparently of spiritual pow- 
er. He had a remarkable influence over a popular 
audience. In his happiest moods his sermons were 
prose poems. Had he been a reader and student, 
he could have established a national reputation as a 
preacher. But while he had a mind of unusual activ- 
ity and could not avoid thinking vigorously, he was 
not a student in the strict . sense of the word. He 
read but little ; and most of what he learned he gath- 
ered from observation, from conversation, and from 
the sermons to which he listened from time to time. 

R. N. Price and G. Taylor were appointed a commit- 
tee to secure an incorporation of the Conference. Dur- 
ing the Conference year an incorporating act was 
passed by the North Carolina Legislature, and the 
same was reported to the Conference of 1867. The 
writer, in order to save expense, secured a copy of 'a 
volume containing the laws of North Carolina ; and, 
after reading a number of incorporating acts, formu- 
lated one for the Holston Conference ; and through a 
representative of Buncombe County it was laid before 


the North Carolina Legislature and adopted. At that 
time the committee was not willing to ask the Tennes' 
see Legislature for an incorporating act, as it was 
known to be composed of men unfriendly to the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South. 

Anson W. Cummings, D.D., was suspended from 
the ministry for twelve months. He was tried and 
found guilty of the charge of "an attempt to defraud 
the trustees of Holston Conference Female College by 
erasing from one of their account books entries of 
money received by him at sundry times to the amount 
of several hundred dollars." The report of the com- 
mittee gave general dissatisfaction in the Conference 
on the ground that the punishment was thought to be 
disproportionate to the offense. Through Dr. Ken- 
nedy the Conference addressed the Chair for an 
opinion on the question whether in such a case the Con- 
ference had a right to appeal to the General Confer- 
ence. The bishop answered that the report of the com- 
mittee was a finality, and that the Conference could not 
appeal from its own decision. 

Anson W. Cummings came to the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, from a Northern State. While 
he was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
charges had been brought against him, and he had re- 
signed the ministry and probably withdrawn from the 
Church. He went to St. Louis and engaged in the 
drug business. There he connected himself with the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and was reli- 
censed to preach. About the year 1855 he was elected 
President of the Odd Fellows Female College, in Rog- 
ersville, Tenn. ; and remained in charge of that insti- 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. 429 

tution for about two years. Rogersville was at that 
time a strong Presbyterian town, and it was a new de- 
parture to have a Methodist for President of that in- 
stitution. The fact that the President was a Method- 
ist preacher caused a' rush of Methodist patronage, to 
the school, and the school was large. As many or most 
of the girls were Methodist in sentiment, the Methodist 
congregation in the town became large, and the fact 
did not escape the notice of the Presbyterians of the 
place. A misunderstanding between the President and 
the steward of the college (who, by the by, was a 
Presbyterian) was made the occasion of violent oppo- 
sition to Dr. Cummings in the Odd Fellows Lodge,* 
which controlled the college. The Methodists and 
Presbyterians in the lodge were arrayed against each 
other in irreconcilable hostility. The discussions and 
scenes on the floor were not creditable to either party. 
About this time Dr. Cummings was elected President 
of Holston Conference Femfale College, at Asheville, 
N. C. Accordingly he resigned the presidency of the 
college at Rogersville, which was henceforward in con- 
trol of the Presbyterian element of the lodge; and 
owing to the alienation of the Methodist public, it sud- 
denly and greatly declined in patronage. 

During the first year of Dr. Cummings's incumbency 
the Holston Conference Female College was wonder- 
fully prosperous. The attendance of pupils was large, 
rendering it necessary for the trustees to enlarge the 
buildings considerably. The rush of patronage was 
caused by the scholarship system, which really gave 
tuition for about one-third of what would have been 
paying rates. But Dr. Cummings was a notable firian- 


cier, and by organizing large classes in music and art, 
the rates of which did not come under the scholarship 
plan, he made the institution pay expenses. Dr. Cum- 
mings was a man of a liberal education, though not a 
ripe scholar. He was a man of superior intellect, wrote 
well, and preached with ability. He had a fine admin- 
istrative ability; and if he had been strictly conscien- 
tious in his business affairs, he would have been an emi- 
nent success. But he loved money too well. Though 
a man of stubborn disposition, he was far from being 
contentious and quarrelsome. It was his fate, how- 
ever, always to be in trouble. He was forced out of the 
Methodist Episcopal. Church by the most scandalous 
rumors. I have mentioned the broil into which he was 
precipitated at Rogersville; and he had not been long 
in Asheville till he had incurred the hostility of his 
special friend, Mr. Edward J. Aston, by unfairness in 
a business deal. A few years later he lost the friend- 
ship of the Hon. Z. B. Vance in the same way, and his 
final ruin came when he was accused of attempting to 
defraud the college. The Rev. Grinsfield Taylor was 
specially active in prosecuting him in the last case. 
After all his old "rebel" speeches and sermons and his 
encouragement of the prosecution of the Union preach- 
ers, he finally affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, went back North, and remained there, and for 
a while entertained audiences by lecturing in portions 
of the North on "Southern Kukluxism." 

The report on education said : "The terrible agitation 
which we have suffered, disastrous as it has been in 
many respects, has acted as a powerful stimulant to 
the mind of the nation, and in the hearts of the youth 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. 43 1 

of the country there never was so great a thirst for 
learning and general information as is now manifest. 
This is a ground of hope." 

The report also stated that the Holston Conference 
Female College had opened July last under the able 
presidency of the Rev. James S. Kennedy, that ninety 
students were in attendance, and that during the year 
the indebtedness of the college had been reduced from 
seventeen to ten thousand dollars. 

The report declared the debits of Martha Washing- 
ton College to be about thirteen thousand dollars and 
the credits about three thousand dollars. It further- 
more stated that the Rev. Benjamin Arbogast had been 
elected President of the college, and had taken hold 
with a vigorous hand. 

I copy the report in full so far as it relates to the 
Athens Female College : 

The facts in regard to this institution, so far as we can 
gather them, are about these : A short time after the close of 
the war Rev. E. Rowley, former President of the college, made 
a claim against it of about six thousand dollars, and filed a 
bill in chancery asking permission to sell the property at 
thirty days' notice. The case was compromised, the trustees 
conceding the claim and Rev. Mr. Rowley agreeing to the sale 
of the property on twelve months credit and to the inclusion 
of a debt of the Odd Fellows against the institution. The 
property was bought by Mr. Rowley. Revs. J. Atkins and C. 
Long, the appointed agents of the Conference, have filed a bill 
setting forth the claims of this Conference to the property, 
the illegality of the agreement between the trustees and Mr. 
Rowley, etc. In case we regain the property, we have a sub- 
scription, already raised, of over three thousand dollars to 
liquidate the debt. We recommend the continuance in the 
agency of the same brethren, and suggest that a certificate 


of their appointment signed by the President and Secretary of 
the Conference be furnished them. 

A resolution was adopted looking to a change in the 
charter of Emory and Henry College, so as to allow 
of. the establishment of a biblical chair in the institu- 
tion. The change was never made, and the chair was 
never established. 

Bascom College, in Buncombe County, N. C, with a 
small debt on it, was offered to the Conference, but was 
respectfully declined. This declinature was evidently 
not wise. Holston Conference is now attempting by 
the establishment of junior colleges to recover some 
of the territory she has lost by this unwise policy. She 
has learned something from the operations of the 
Northern Presbyterians in the mountainous sections of 
Western North Carolina and East Tennessee, and of 
the Congregationalists on the Cumberland Mountains. 
Hiwassee College, now partly supported by missionary 
money and giving education at low rates of tuition, is 
an index- of the changed policy of the Church. Just 
as ordinary preachers are doing the principal part of 
the work of saving souls, so the academies and small 
colleges are at last the main dependence of the Church 
for the training that constitutes the basis of. Christian 

Admitted on trial : George A. Frazier, Alexander C. Suther- 
land, W. H. Weaver, John W. S. Neel, George T. Gray, 
Sterling V, Bates, William W. Pyott, James M. Massey. 

Readmitted : John W. Bowman, Samuel D. Gaines, Josiah 
Torbett, Tobias F. Smith, Robert W. Pickens, Sewell Philips, 
Larkin W. Crouch, Fleming D. Crumley. 

Located: Thomas J. Pope, G. W. Callahan, A, D. Stewart, 
W. C Bowman, George W. Penley. 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. 433 

Suspended for one year: A. W Cummings. 

Withdrawn from the Church : Daniel B. Carter, R. W. 
Patty, William Kinsland, John F. Woodfin. 

Transferred : To the Georgia Conference, A. G. Worley ; to 
the Baltimore Conference, William A. Harris and William 
E. Munsey. 

Superannuated: Joseph Haskew, T. Sullins, W. B. Winton, 
W. H. Kelley. 

Died : J. D. Wagg, Daniel R. Reagan. 

Numbers in society : White, 22,835 ; colored, 1,263 \ Indians, 
75. Total, 24,173. Decrease, 26,477. 

Local preachers, 184; decrease, 155. 

Traveling preachers, 102. 

Sabbath schools, 232; teachers, 1,378; scholars, 7,821. 

Preachers' claims, $23,435.75; receipts, $11,739.60, or a 
little over fifty per cent. • 

Collected for missions : No report. 

The great decrease in the membership reported above 
was really not the decrease of a single year. During 
the year the preachers had had an opportunity to re- 
vise the class books. Thousands had withdrawn from 
the Church and connected themselves with the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church and other Churches. The 
class books having been rewritten on many charges, 
the names of those who had withdrawn had, of course, 
been omitted. The larger part of the withdrawals 
were those of radical Union people, whose politics 
naturally carried them into the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. A considerable number of people of South- 
ern sentiment had been made to believe that the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South, could not be reorgan- 
ized, and had allowed their names to be taken by Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church preachers. Numbers, despair- 
ing of the reorganization of their societies and not 


willing to affiliate with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, had joined the Presbyterian, Episcopal, and 
other Churches. Many, had died during the war or 
apostatized or removed to distant parts without let- 
ters, and these swelled the decrease. 

Some who left us returned to us afterwards, and our 
future chapters will show a rapid resuscitation of 
Southern Methodism in Holston. The wealthier and 
more intelligent classes in East Tennessee were gen- 
erally Southern in sentiment, although many excellent 
families sympathized with the Union cause. A very 
respectable contingent of the Union people of the 
Church, South, remained with it. While they did not 
believe in the doctrine of secession and the policy of 
establishing a Southern republic, they sympathized 
with the people of the South as such. Conservative 
Union people with Southern sympathies were useful 
during the war as peacemakers between the two rad- 
ical elements, and after the war they did much to pro- 
tect the Southern element from the violence and in- 
justice of the lawless element of the Union party. , 
They gave no encouragement to indictments for trea- 
son and suits for damages against Southern men and 
preacher-whipping, which disgraced the section for a 

Mr. Pope has been noticed. 

G. W. Callahan was a noble fellow. As a speaker 
he was characterized by a great readiness and fluency 
of speech rather than a critical use of terms. The 
people regarded him as an orator, and the Rev. John 
M. McTeer, in representing him in Conference, once 
said : "He is the most eloquentest man among us." 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. 435 

A. D. Stewart is a pious man and a good preacher. 
He has been superannuated for some years, and lives 
near where he was born, in Sequatchee Valley, Tenn. 
I had the honor of receiving him into' the Methodist 
Church. In the fall of 1853 I was holding a protract- 
ed meeting at Henninger's Chapel*, on the Jasper Cir- 
cuit, and there were great displays of divine power. 
Ab Stewart, as he was called, did not attend during 
the first eight or ten days. But one Sabbath morning 
while the meeting was in progress he caught out his 
horse, mounted him, and started up the valley in the 
opposite direction from the church. But after riding 
some miles, the Spirit of God came into his heart, and 
he said to himself, ''Why not go to the meeting?" and 
he turned and rode pretty rapidly toward the church. 
I was in the pulpit preaching ; and when the young 
man walked in, I saw that he was serious, and I said 
within myself: "We will get you to-day." When pen- 
itents were called, he was the first to start ; but he fell 
helpless to the floor, and remained in that state till the 
services closed that day. Before the meeting closed, 
he was happily and powerfully converted, and at once 
became a worker in the meeting. His friends at once 
pointed him out as preacher timber. Four years after- 
wards, as he was returning from a school which he 
had been attending in Middle Tennessee, the call came 
to his mind forcibly. When he had gotten within two 
or three hundred yards of home, he heard a noise like 
shouting; and when he reached the house, he found 
that his father had jnst been converted and was prais- 
ing God with a loud voice. This circumstance had no 
tendency to drive from his mind the conviction that 


came upon him as he crossed the mountain. Mr. 
Stewart has given to the Conference a very promising 
son, Richard A. Stewart. 1 

W. C. Bowman located to attend the University of 
Virginia. While at the university he became somewhat 
skeptical. Later he became a Universalist, and had 
charge of a Universalist Church in Atlanta, Ga. ; but 
becoming too broad for the Universalists, discarding 
the Bible as the only and sufficient rule of faith and 
practice, and taking the universe as his Bible, he re- 
signed the pastorate of that Church and joined the 
spiritualists and became a leader in that sect. He is 
now pastor of the Church of the New Era, in Los An- 
geles, Cal. Dr. Bowman is a man of fine education 
and superior intellect. He is a sincere man, and has a 
kind, noble heart. 

George W. Penley Was a brilliant, eccentric man. I 
have lost sight of him. 

Daniel B. Carter and R. W. Patty eventually re- 
turned to the Southern Church. Patty deserves spe- 
cial mention, and it will be given later. Woodfin and 
Kinsland, as I understand it, were both Southern in 
sentiment during the war. The motives that carried 
them into the Methodist Episcopal Church I know not, 
but they remained there. Kinsland was a fat, jolly 
fellow, and was not lacking in intellect. Woodfin, a 
nephew of Col. Nicholas Woodfin, of Asheville, N. C, 
was a young man of superior intellect, and was an ac- 
'curate and fluent speaker. 

Ambrose Gaines Worley was of an excellent Upper 
East Tennessee family. He had a robust body and a 

1 Recently transferred to Texas, 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND 1 866. 437 

robust mind. He was not the most agreeable speak- 
er, but he sometimes preached a tremendous sermon. 
He had intellect of a high order, and did a vast amount 
of good. In the undivided Georgia Conference he took 
a high stand, and was for many years in the presiding 
eldership of the North Georgia Conference. He was a 
relative of Samuel D. Gaines and of Mrs. Stuart, the 
mother of the distinguished George R. Stuart. 

William A. Harris came to our Conference to take 
charge of Martha Washington College. He was an 
excellent man, of moderate talent. He resigned and 
went farther east to continue in educational work. 

W. E. Munsey deserves an extended notice, and he 
will be noticed later. 

John D. Wagg, a son of James Wagg, of Jefferson, 
N. C, was a young man of unusual promise ; but he 
was a victim of pulmonary consumption. His early 
promotion ,to two of our best stations, Asheville and 
Bristol, shows the estimate placed on his gifts by the 
authorities. Mr. Wagg was peculiarly meek and quiet, 
and in preaching he had unusual gifts as a word painter, 
His dying message to his brethren was : "Brethren, 
preach Jesus ; preach Jesus, and him crucified ; preach 
Jesus more earnestly." 

Daniel R. Reagan was admitted on trial in 1859. 
His talents as a preacher were respectable, and his de- 
votion to the cause of God fixed and uniform. The 
conditions in East Tennessee caused him to refugee 
for some time in Georgia, where he continued to labor 
for the salvation of souls. He died in Merriwether 
County, Ga., August 17, 1865. 

Holland Nimmons McTyeire, who held the Confer- 

"I v»;tu 

>■'-■-:■■ ' ■■■■■■■,-: ., ; 


CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND 1866. 439 

ence this year, was born in Barnwell County, S. C. 
July 24, 1824 ; and graduated at Randolph-Macon Col- 
lege (Virginia) in 1844. He joined the Virginia Con- 
ference in 1845, an d afterwards was pastor of Church- 
es in Mobile, Demopolis, Columbus, and New Orleans. 
He was elected editor of the New Orleans Christian 
Advocate in 1854, and of the Nashville Christian Advo- 
cate in 1858. In 1866 the first General Conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, after the Civ- 
il War promoted him to the bishopric. He made a la- 
borious and conscientious general superintendent. He 
was a favorite in Holston. As a writer he was terse, 
graceful, and eminently brilliant. He made a very lim- 
ited use of adjectives. In the use of Anglo-Saxon he 
coped with Addison. The sentences of his sermons 
were packed with thought. He had the chief element 
of the orator — distinct enunciation. He never 
mouthed his words. Every word was like a coined sil- 
ver dollar. But he lacked the rapid, impassioned ut- 
terance that captivates the generality of hearers. A 
few of our Holston preachers thought that he was a 
poor preacher. B. W. S. Bishop, however, used to 
say that he was the best preacher he ever heard. Dr. 
Stuart Robinson, of the Presbyterian Church, being 
asked who was the best preacher in the South, replied : 
"Holland McTyeire." As an expository preacher he 
had few equals. He got out of a text all that was in it. 
The Bishop's lack of the "fuss and feathers" of 
popular oratory was largely compensated by unexpect- 
ed sallies of original and epigrammatic wisdom and 
coruscations of wit. His wit, however, was neither 
coarse nor irreverent. 


As a judge of law and presiding officer in the Confer- 
ences he had no superior in the episcopacy. His mind 
was of the judicial cast, and his judgments were 
promptly formed and generally correct. 

To an affliction of his requiring a surgical operation 
is due the endowment by Cornelius Vanderbilt of Van- 
derbilt University. While in New York for that pur- 
pose McTyeire became the invited guest of Mr. Van- 
derbilt, whose wife was a cousin of Mrs. McTyeire. 
McTyeire talked to him casually of the effort being 
made by certain Conferences of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, South, to establish a Central University. 
After some reflection, Mr. Vanderbilt offered to give 
half a million dollars to the enterprise if Bishop Mc- 
Tyeire would become its President with a salary of 
ten thousand dollars a year. The Bishop informed 
him that as bishop he could not do this. Vanderbilt 
then agreed to do the same if he would consent to be 
President of the Board of Trust with a salary of three 
thousand dollars. To this the Bishop consented. 

In Bishop McTyeire's make-up there was a vein of 
tenderness. It was not a mere trace, not a dormant 
principle, only to come in evidence under some power- 
ful stimulant; it was an essential part of his nature, 
ever present and ever operatiye. He loved children, 
and they loved him. It was not unusual to see him 
with his buggy crowded with children, driving about 
the university campus. He had a kindly feeling for 
the lower animals, and he tenderly caressed them and 
was careful to see that they were well housed and fed. 
His heart and his money freely went out to the poor. 
He saw beauty in what other people could see nothing 

CONFERENCES OF 1865 AND l866. 441 

but deformity, and grandeur in things commonly con- 
sidered insignificant. In passing horseback through 
Southwestern Virginia he occasionally passed a log 
cabin neatly chinked and daubed, the kind of houses 
that were built by the early settlers of that country; 
and I have known him to stop and look with admira- 
tion, saying: "I love these log houses." 

Besides a large amount of editorial writing, Bishop 
McTyeire was author of "A Manual of Discipline," an 
excellent commentary on Methodist law; "Duties of 
Masters," a timely work at the time of its publication ; 
"A Catechism of Church Government;" and "A His- 
tory of Methodism," a great work. 

After a painful illness the Bishop died in great peace 
February 15, 1889. "Peace" was his last word. In 
his will he said, "I die poor;" and this was the more 
creditable to him, as his income for years had been six 
thousand dollars a year ; but the larger portion of it 
was spent freely and cheerfully in works of benevo- 

The Conference of 1867 and 1868. 

The Conference met in its forty-fourth session in 
Cleveland, Tenn., October 23, 1867, Bishop William 
M. Wightman President, and John H. Brunner and 
Jacob R. Payne Secretaries. 

This was the first session of the Conference at which 
lay delegates appeared and took their seats after the 
adoption of lay representation by the General Con- 
ference of 1866. For this reason I give the list of those 
reported on the first call: From the Wytheville Dis- 
trict, Aras B. Cox ; from the Jonesboro District, Wil- 
liam P. Reeves; from the Rogersville District, David 
C. Croushorn ; from the Athens District, W. W. Lil- 
lard, W. S. Brown ; from the Asheville District, Rev. 
J. A. Reagan ; from the Franklin District, W. J. Wil- 
son, H. H. Davidson; none from the Knoxville and 
the Chattanooga Districts. These men were quite serv- 
iceable on the committees. 

Dr. A. H. Redford, Book Agent, and Dr. Thomas O. 
Summers, Book Editor, were introduced to the Con- 
ference. Dr. Summers was by resolution requested 
to preach during the session his excellent sermon on 
Methodism. Benjamin Arbogast was received as a 
transfer from the Georgia Conference, and the ap- 
pointments show that this transfer was made because 
he had been elected President of Martha Washington 
College in 1866 in place of William A. Harris., re- 




At the last session R. N. Price and G. Taylor were 
appointed a committee to have the Conference incorpo- 
rated by the Legislature of North Carolina. A.t the 
time such was the political complexion of the Legisla- 
ture of Tennessee that it was not thought prudent to 
ask for a charter from that body. R. N. Price report- 
ed a charter obtained from the North Carolina Legis- 
lature, making the Conference a body politic and cor- 
porate. It was accepted and ordered to record. This 
charter had been asked for in view of expected dis- 
putes and lawsuits over Church property within the 
bounds of the Conference. I do not know that this 
act of incorporation was ever of any practical value. 
Our lawsuits have usually been conducted in the name 
of the entire Church, as Methodist property is by our 
rules and regulations the property of the whole Church, 
and not of Conferences, either Quarterly, District, or 

Rev. T. P. Thomas was appointed agent to collect 
the money bequeathed to the Conference by Miss 
Smith, of Russell County, Va., and was authorized to 
apply the interest on the legacy to repairs on the par- 
sonage of the circuit within which the testatrix had 

The following resolution was adopted : 

Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed to me- 
morialize the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, to be held in Chicago, Illinois, in May next, setting 
forth distinctly the wrongs we have suffered in the taking and 
holding of property in churches and parsonages by preachers 
and laymen connected with the M. E. Church— property belong- 
ing to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South— and earnestly 
to pray said General Conference that they will devise meas- 

CONFERENCES OF 1 865 AND 1 866. 445 

ures by which said property shall be restored to its rightful 
owners, for the honor of Methodism and a common Chris- 
tianity. E. E. Wiley, 

B. Arbogast. 

The committee was appointed ; and it consisted of 
E. E. Wiley, W. G. E. Cunnyngham, James Atkins, B. 
Arbogast, G. W. Miles, and George Stewart. 

Benjamin Arbogast was requested to preach the 
Conference sermon at the next session. 

James Atkins was elected commissioner of the Con- 
ference considered as a corporate organization. 

Dr. Wiley presented the following preamble and res- 
olution, which were adopted : 

Whereas the question is frequently asked, "Why are not 
the preachers of the M. E. Church introduced to this Con- 
ference?" and whereas the impression is sought to be made 
that we are thereby less catholic than they; and whereas the 
reasons for our course ought to be clearly stated and widely 
published for the good of the Church and the satisfaction of 
those interested — therefore 

Resolved, That while we would cordially shake the -hands 
of many individual ministers and members of that Church 
who might be indeed brethren beloved in the Lord, we cannot 
consent to a formal introduction of its ministers to this body, 
as this would be, in our judgment, a recognition of their acts as 
a Church toward us. The hand of the Holston Conference, 
South, cannot take the hand of the Holston Conference (North) 
until that hand shall release from its grasp and surrender to 
us all the property of ours which it now holds. 

The committee on the Ambrister Fund reported, ad- 
vising that Dr. Brunner be requested to collect all the 
moneys of the fund, and to turn them over to the 
Treasurer of the Conference; and that the Treasurer 
be required to loan them on unquestionable landed and 


personal security and bring the interest annually to the 
Conference. The committee making the report con- 
sisted of G. Taylor, E. E. Wiley, and R. N. Price. 
The report was adopted. 

If the recommendation of this report had been scru- 
pulously and conscientiously carried out, the fund 
would not have been lost. But the sequel shows that 
loans were made which were never collected except in 
part. At this session the interest that had accrued 
from this fund was placed in the hands of the Joint 
Board of Finance to be distributed among the Confer- 
ence claimants. 

Admitted on trial : Kennerly C. Atkins, Daniel H. Carr, Wil- 
liam W. Bays, Stephen I. Harrison, Tyre T. Salyer, Robert 
H. Parker, Hezekiah W. Bays, Milton L. Clendenen, A. 
Quinn Harmon. 

Readmitted : George W. Callahan, George W. K. Green, 
James Mahoney, David D. Moore, James W. Bennett. 

Received by transfer: Benjamin Arbogast, E. Vertegans, 
H. S. Williams,. M. A. Davidson. 

Located: Moses H. Spencer, Joshua S. Brooks, Anson W. 

Superannuated : Joseph Haskew, Timothy Sullins, Wiley 
B. Winton, Thomas K. Munsey, John Reynolds. 
' Died: Thomas K. Catlett. 

Numbers in society: White, 25,158; colored, 435. Total, 
25,593. Increase, 2,329. ('Note: The decrease in colored 
membership was 843.) 

Local preachers, 194 ; traveling preachers, 98. 

Sunday schools, 235; scholars and teachers, 11,044. 

Collected on Conference fund, $446.25; collected for mis- 
sions and tracts, $1,143.36. 

I know that I could not make a readable book of 
ministerial biography by copying the regulation obit- 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 447 

uary notices of our preachers from the General Min- 
utes; but the notice of Mr. Catlett is evidently from 
the pen of Dr. E. E. Wiley, who knew him intimately. 
Wi 1 ey's earmarks are in its clean-cut style and classic 
finish, and I cannot do better than to transfer it bod- 
ily to these pages. It is as follows : 

Thomas K. Catlett was born in Albemarle County, Va., in 
1798, of highly respectable parentage. His father having died, 
he was thrown out upon the world when very young; and he 
went to a trade and continued in it until about the year 1819, 
when he was converted to God and called to the ministry in 
Staunton, Va. His early literary privileges were very limited ; 
and hence after his conversion he entered school at Wythe- 
ville, Va., and continued his literary pursuits until the au- 
tumn of 1825, at which time he was admitted into the Holston 
Conference. He was a man of industrious habits, an iron 
constitution, and burning zeal for his Master's cause. Whether 
on circuits, stations, or districts, he was the same faithful, 
self-denying man of God. His intellect was somewhat pecul- 
iar — strong, original, and in some respects eccentric. He was 
emphatically an original thinker. When he ascended the pul- 
pit, his hearers expected a new subject presented in an original 
style and affording intellectual and spiritual food upon which 
they could feast for months and even years. No man has ever 
preached in the Holston country who could present a greater 
variety of subjects in a plainer style and producing a more 
lasting impression than T. K. Catlett. He never became 
tedious even to the most profound thinker. He was a man 
of one book — the Bible. From that deep fountain he sought 
knowledge, and hence he was "mighty in the Scriptures." 
On the great cardinal doctrines of the Bible and in the prac- 
tical duties of Christianity he was a man that needed not to 
be ashamed. Preaching was the great business of his life. 

Since 1825 he had been an active workman in his Lord's 
vineyard. You find the footprints of T. K. Catlett on nearly 
every page of our history as a Conference, presiding with 
ability in the absence of a bishop, a -frequent and safe repre- 


sentative in the General Conference, a member of the Louis- 
ville Convention, with a heart as true as steel to Southern 
Methodism, presiding on districts for many years, everywhere 
and at all times showing himself to be a live man. He had a 
great, benevolent heart. When the wife of nis youth and the 
mother of his children was called to her eternal home, his 
children were scattered among strangers; and under these 
circumstances he conceived the idea of establishing an orphans' 
home. Who that knew Brother Catlett does not know that 
for long years he labored for the St. John's Orphan Asylum? 
The poor orphan was the object of his prayers and labors for 
years. During the last year of his life he placed two hundred 
orphans at school in various parts of the country, and doubt- 
less this work will follow him. As a Christian he presented 
an example worthy of imitation. He was emphatically a man 
of prayer. He was a man of few words, grave deportment, 
disliked levity, was always ready to reprove sin, and con- 
stantly sought holiness of heart and life. Who can say that 
T. K. Catlett did wrong intentionally? On February 25, 1867, 
he had an appointment to preach at Sulphur Spring, Smyth 
County, Va. On' account of the inclemency of the day no 
one could attend church. Brother Catlett was at the house 
of his fast friend and brother, B. F. Aker. He was in usual 
health and in an unusually cheerful mood. While seated at 
the dining table, without a word or a death struggle, the spirit 
fled to its eternal home — "God took him." Thomas K. Cat- 
lett is gone. Our hearts are sad. We shall miss him at Con- 
ference, but we shall meet him again. 

To this notice I wish to add some remarks of my 
own in regard to this remarkable man. 

Catlett was a large, heavy man. He had been 
brought np to the stonecutter's trade, and by a flying 
fragment of stone he had lost an eye. His single eye 
physically aptly typified his singleness of purpose as a 
Christian and preacher. A tinge of severity mingled 
with his perpetual gravity, although he was often com- 

CONFERENCES OF 1 867 AND 1 868. 449 

municative and even sociably cheerful. He preached 
and professed entire sanctification, and, so far as can- 
dor and honesty were concerned, he did not profess 
too much ; but in sunshiny disposition and sweetness of 
temper he was not the equal of his old friend Robert- 
son Gannaway, who also professed the same attain- 
ments. As Catlett grew older he grew sweeter and 

Catlett was a man of remarkable candor. One of 
our preachers was at one time arraigned before the 
Conference on a charge of falsehood and other un- 
christian conduct. He unwisely, as I think, chose Mr. 
Catlett as his counsel ; for while he was a thoughtful 
and earnest preacher, he did not possess the cunning 
and versatility essential to a good lawyer. He always 
said what he believed and believed what he said. In his 
speech in behalf of his client he said : "I acknowledge 
that Brother A. lied, but it was a justifiable lie !" 
Brother A. turned to me and sadly remarked: "I am 

Catlett was so intense in everything he enterprised 
that our great lecturer, George Stuart, would, I sup- 
pose, class him with lopsided men. His anxiety to 
establish a Holston Conference orphan asylum almost 
amounted to fanaticism. While Mr. Catlett was one 
day discoursing in Conference on his favorite project 
and was speaking of St. John's Orphan Asylum, the 
bishop inquired, "Where is that asylum located?" and 
Dr. Wiley arose and answered, "In Brother Catlett's 
brain." The asylum was never established; but the 
agitation was not in vain, and some of the fruits of 
it may, I' believe, be found in the Conference Or- 


phans' Home, now doing such noble work at Greene- 
ville, Tenn. 

Mr. Catlett also fell into the premillennial advent 
theory. He thought and prayed about it and preached 
it till, as I think, his mind became unbalanced. Ex- 
cessive concentration often gives the secondary con- 
sciousness the mastery of the primary consciousness; 
and when that is the case for any great length of time, 
the man ceases to be normal. During the last years of 
his life Father Catlett honestly believed that he would 
never die. He believed that he would live till the Sav- 
iour should come the second time, and that all "the 
holy who should be alive at that time would be glori- 
fied without passing through the ordeal of dissolution. 
It was to him a comfortable anticipation. In fact, he 
came as near being translated as he could be without 
actual translation. Sitting at table at Mr. Frank 
Aker's on the holy Sabbath, he just ceased to live with- 
out a pang or a sigh or a groan. 

At one of my quarterly meetings held at Sulphur 
Spring, Smyth County, Va., in the year 1864 he 
preached on the second advent. He took the ground 
that the gospel dispensation would end and the Lord 
would come just as soon as a sufficient number of hu- 
man beings should be saved to fill the places vacated 
by the fallen angels. He referred to the prediction of 
Jesus that the Son of Man would come again during 
the then present generation. He admitted that Jesus 
did not come during that generation, and said that 
many generations had passed and he had not yet come. 
"Now," said he, "what are we to make of this ? Sim- 
ply that he was honestly mistaken!" 

CONFERENCES OF 1 867 AND 1 868. 45 1 

I called his attention afterwards to this remarkable 
declaration, and he did not remember having made it, 
and denied it. This, together with other circum- 
stances, convinced me that he was not at all times in 
a normal state. But though all his life rather a one- 
ideaed man, the mental aberration to which I refer did 
not manifest itself till late in his life, when his brain 
forces had begun to give way before the progress of 
natural decay. A more earnest man we never had — a 
man more confident of the truth of Christianity, more 
devoted to the causes of education and missions and 


every phase of human welfare. 

Mr. Catlett was admitted into the Holston Confer- 
ence on trial at its second session, in 1825 ; and was 
therefore an itinerant for forty-two years. He was a 
part of the time superannuated, but was never idle, 
preaching as often as his physical strength and oppor- 
tunities would allow. He owned a handsome little 
farm at Cedarville, Va., and from it derived a portion 
of his support. 

Mr. Catlett was a correct speaker and writer; but 
outside of the rudiments of an English education, his 
attainments were limited. He probably preached from 
more texts than any preacher of his generation. He 
had no sugar sticks. He was generally original but 
not always correct in his exegesis. He often surprised 
his audiences by the novelty of his texts. He preached 
the funeral sermon of his friend Robertson Gannaway 
from the text: "Else what shall they do that are bap- 
tized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why 
are they then baptized for the dead?" He once 
preached the Conference sermon, and surprised his 


audience by announcing as his text: "Thou shalt not 
steal." It is the duty of the preacher to reprove, re- 
buke, and exhort. Catlett was a faithful reprover. 
During the war a Confederate officer had a tailor in a 
Virginia town to make him a military suit. He paid 
for the suit, but found that it did not fit him; and he 
took it back to the tailor and left it with him for sale, 
the tailor agreeing to pay over to him the entire pro- 
ceeds. But he paid him less than half the proceeds, 
averring that he was paying the whole. The tailor 
was a member of the Methodist Church. Brother 
Catlett, hearing of the transaction, wrote a letter to 
his Methodist brother rebuking him for the fraud and 
exhorting him to repent in order to escape endless 
punishment. The letter made a deep impression upon 
the offender. He took sick in a few days thereafter, 
lingered a short time, and passed away. I visited him 
and talked to him about his soul. He seemed greatly 
penitent, and requested his family to show me the Cat- 
lett letter; but they prudently Withheld it. I under- 
stood him to mean that his sins had been forgiven, and 
that he ascribed his salvation in part to the faithful 
rebuke of the venerable minister. 

The Conference met in its forty-fifth session in 
Knoxville, Tenn., October 21, 1868, Bishop Wight- 
man President, and R. N. Price, J. R. Payne, and J. 
K. Stringfield Secretaries. Mr. Payne wrote a beauti- 
ful hand, and was laborious and painstaking in re- 
cording the proceedings and reports. For these rea- 
sons he was pressed into service as Assistant Secre- 
tary of the Conference for a number of years; and I 
fear that the Conference has never yet fully realized the 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 453 

extent of its obligation to this faithful and laborious 
man, who still lives 1 (1909) on his little farm in Upper 
East Tennessee, and is as much alive as ever to the in- 
terests of our beloved Zion, though for many years he 
has been enrolled among the superannuates. 

The following lay delegates took their seats in the 
body : Dr. M. Y. Heiskell, W. P. Reeves, F. W. Ear- 
nest, Rev. James I. Cash, Sr., J. Buckley, A. A. Camp- 
bell, Rev. T. P. Thomas, E. E. Hoss, F. Lenoir, Hugh 
Johnson, J. H. Roberts, James D. Johnson, Dr. James 

F. Broyles, W. W. Stringfield, Rev. T. P. Summers. 
W. H. Bates and Mrs. Mary A. Kennedy were ap- 
pointed trustees of the Kennedy Fund. 

Dr. Brunner made the following report of the Am- 
brister Fund : 

Receipts from all sources $3,245 69 

Expenditures up to date 2,937 14 

Cash on hand $ 308 55 

Assets as follows : 

Real estate, cash value* $ 700 do 

Notes on interest 3,441 ^4 

Cash on hand 308 55 

Balance $4,450 39 


In place of Dr. Brunner, resigned, E. E. Wiley and 

G. Taylor were appointed trustees of the Ambrister 
Fund. The action of the last Conference requiring 
this fund to be collected and paid over to the Confer- 
ence Treasurer was repealed. 

J. M. McTeer was continued as trustee of the Gan- 
naway Fund, and instructed to take legal advice. 

1 Died December 10, 1910. 


The action of the last Conference giving the Rachel 
Waugh Fund to Holston Conference Female College 
was rescinded, and J. M. McTeer was continued as 
trustee of said fund. 

Dr. Red ford, Book Agent, reported to the Confer- 
ence that in consequence of large deficiencies in the 
support of the bishops he had raised funds to supply 
these deficiencies by private subscriptions, and that 
preachers and laymen of the Holston Conference had 
contributed the amount of eighty-two dollars. 

The Conference adopted a financial plan which is 
substantially the assessment plan of ministerial support 
adopted by the General Conference of a later period. 
I shall not give it space here. 

The Committee on Education reported the value of 
property of Emory and Henry College at $108,550, 
the aggregate expenses of the institution during the 
past year at $10,061.96, and its income at $12,857.14. 

The report represented th#t Martha Washington 
College had had during the .year fifty-four boarding 
pupils. The reappointment of B. Arbogast to the pres- 
idency was requested. 

The Rev. John Boring, Agent for Martha Wash- 
ington and Holston Conference Female Colleges, re- 
ported as follows : 

In notes and money secured for both $7»097 40 

Paid 76390 

Traveling expenses of Agent 224 47 

Paid to the President 100 00 

Balance in Agent's hands 439 43 

The Conference voted thanks to Mr. Boring as a 
good and faithful servant. 

CONFERENCES OF 1 867 AND 1 868. 455 

At the last Conference a commission of seven men 
was appointed to memorialize the General Conference 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church in relation to the 
seizure and holding by ministers and members of that 
Church of our Church property in East Tennessee. At 
this session the committee reported. The memorial 
was as follows : 

To the Bishops and Members of the General Conference 
of the M. E. Church, Convened at Chicago, III., 

May, 1868. 
The undersigned were appointed a committee at the ses- 
sion of the Holst'on Conference of the M. E. Church; South, 
held in Cleveland, East Tennessee, in October last to me- 
morialize your reverend body and to set forth distinctly the 
wrongs which we are suffering at the hands of agents of the 
M. E. Church within our bounds, and also to entreat you to 
devise, some means by which an end may be made to these 
outrages for the honor of Methodism and for the sake of our 
common Christianity. Our churches have been seized by 
ministers and members of the M. E. Church,' and are still held 
and used by them as houses of worship. To give the semblance 
of legality to these acts and of right to this property trus- 
tees have been appointed by the authorities of the M. E. 
Church, and these churches are annually reported by your 
ministers in their Conference statistics. From these churches 
our ministers are either excluded and driven or allowed only 
a joint occupancy with your ministers. From some of them 
our ministers in their regular rounds of district and circuit 
work are excluded by locks and bars or by armed men meeting 
them at the doors; from others they are driven by mobs and 
threatened with death should they attempt a return. At one 
a presiding elder and the preacher in charge of the circuit at 
a quarterly meeting appointment were arrested and marched 
fifteen miles amidst indignities and insults; at another an 
aged and godly minister was ridden upon a rail; at another 
the same man was met at the door by bundles of rods and 
by rails, together with a written notice prohibiting him from 


preaching at the risk of torture ; at another a notice was 
handed to our preacher signed by a class leader in the M. E. 
Church in which was the following language: "If you come 
back here again, we will handle you." And, true to the threat, 
on a subsequent round, not two miles from the place, this 
worthy minister as he was passing to his appointment on the 
second Sabbath in February last was taken from his horse, 
.struck a severe blow upon the head, blindfolded, tied to a tree, 
scourged to laceration, and then ordered to lie with his face 
to the ground until his scourgers should withdraw, with the 
threat of death for disobedience. All this he was told, too, 
was for traveling that cirquit and preaching the gospel' as a 
Southern Methodist preacher. From another the children 
and teachers of our Sabbath school were ejected while in ses- 
sion by a company of men who were led by a minister of the 
M. E. Church. 

Our parsonages also have been seized and occupied by 
ministers of the M. E. Church, no rents having been paid to 
us for their use. Thirty-six hundred dollars, appropriated 
upon our application by the United States Government for 
damages to our church at Knoxville during the war, was by 
some sleight-of-hand movement passed into the hands of a 
minister of the M. E. Church. 1 In other cases school and 
church property of ours on which debts were resting has been 
forced upon the market by agents in your interest, and thereby 
wrested from our poverty and added to your abundance. 
■Members of the M. E. Church constitute in part the mobs 
that insult and maltreat our preachers, while ministers of the 
same Church by words and acts either countenace or encour- 
age our persecutors. In no instance, so far as we are advised, 

1 When the suit for the recovery of our Church Street 
property (Knoxville) was compromised, our lawyer demanded 
the $3,600 which the general government had paid for dam- 
ages on this property; and I am informed that Capt. William 
Rule said that the trustees of the Church (representing the 
M. E. Church) had not received a cent of that money. He 
doubtless told the truth. 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 457 

has any one for such conduct been arraigned or censured even 
by those administering the discipline of your Church. We 
could specify the names of each of these churches and the 
locality, were it necessary, in which our ministers and people 
are either permitted sometimes to worship or from which they 
are excluded and driven by locks, threats, mobs, and bloody 
persecutions. Their names are in our possession and are at 
your disposal. About one hundred church edifices are held 
in one or another of these ways, with a value of not less than 
$75,000. Of this property, it should be added, some was 
deeded to the M. E. Church before 1844, and the rest since 
that time to the M. E. Church, South. That it is all claimed 
by the M. E. Church in East Tennessee we suppose to be true, 
or it would not be reported and received in their Annual 
Conference statistics. That it belongs to the M. E. Church, 
South, we suppose also to be true, inasmuch as all deeds since 
1844 have been made to us and the rest was granted to us by 
the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the 
Church suit, unless the ground be assumed by your reverend 
body that when Lee surrendered to Grant the M. E. Church, 
South, surrendered to the M. E. Church all her property 
rights. Surely if the Unted States Government does not con- 
fiscate the property of those who are called rebels, the M. E. 
Church in her highest legislative assembly will hardly set a 
precedent by claiming the property of their Southern brethren. 

But it may perhaps be said that we have been sinners, rebels, 
traitors touching our civil and political relations to the gov- 
ernment. If this be so, we are unable to comprehend by what 
authority we are to be punished by the M. E. Church, since 
for our moral obliquities we are responsible alone to God and 
for our political crimes only to the United States Government. 
It may also be asked, What jurisdiction has your General 
Conference over these deeds of injustice? No civil jurisdic- 
tion, we are aware ; but your reverend body does possess 
moral power of such weight that if brought to bear in East 
Tennessee there would be an. end to these acts of oppression 
and cruelty. 

A word of disaproval even from your board of bishops 


or the publication in your Church papers of some of the 
above-cited facts with editorial condemnation would have done 
much to mitigate, if not entirely remove, the cause of our 
complaints; but we have neither heard the one nor seen the 
other. Why this has not been done is believed by us to be a 
want of knowledge of these facts of which we now put you 
in possession. Familiar as we are with the condition of things 
in East Tennessee and with the workings of the two Method- 
isms there, we are satisfied that your body could by judicious 
action remove many, if not all, the causes which now occasion 
strife, degrade Methodism, and scandalize our holy religion. 
We ask therefore: 

1. That you will ascertain the grounds upon which the 
M. E. Church claims and holds the property in church build- 
ings and parsonages within her bounds in East Tennessee, as 
reported in her Holston Mission Conference statistics. 

2. If in the investigation any property so reported shall be 
adjudged by you to belong of right to the M. E. Church, 
South, that you will designate what that property is and 
where, and also instruct your ministers and people to relin- 
quish their grasp upon the same, repossess us, and leave us 
in the undisturbed occupancy thereof. 

3. Inasmuch as your words of wisdom and justice will be 
words of power, that you earnestly advise all your ministers 
laboring in this field to abstain from every word and act, the 
tendency of which would be the subversion of the good order 
and peace of the communities in which they move. 

In conclusion, allow us to add that in presenting this me- 
morial to your reverend body we are moved thereto by no 
other spirit than that of ardent desire to promote the interests 
of our common Redeemer by "spreading scriptural holiness 
over these lands." 

E. E. Wiley, C. Long, 


William Robeson, George Stewart, 

B. Arbogast, 
Members Holston Conference M. E. Church, South. 
• Aoril. 1868. 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 459 

I believe that this memorial was written by Dr. Wi- 
ley, and, as far as I know, it recited facts correctly. 
All that the General Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church did was to refer the memorial to 
the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 

Admitted on trial: Daniel H. Atkins, W. D. Mitchell, Na- 
thaniel W. Vaughan, David R. Smith, Lemuel H. Carlock. 

Readmitted : Daniel B. Carter, William L. Turner. 

Located: Samuel S. Grant, Lawrence M. Renfro, Hazel 

Superannuated: John Reynolds, Joseph Haskew, Timothy 
Sullins, Wiley B. Winton, Thomas K. Munsey. 

Numbers in society: White, 26,180; colored, 172; Indian, 
75. Total, 26,427. Increase, 834. 

Local preachers, 215; traveling preachers, ill. 

Sunday schools, 282; scholars, 13,738. 

Collected: For missions, $1,651.08; for Conference fund, 
$834.94; for bishops, $507.65. 

Claims of preachers, $37,715.33; receipts, $22,855.43, or a 
little less than sixty-one per cent. 


In the above memorial mention is made of indig- 
nities inflicted upon some of our preachers simply be- 
cause they represented the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South. I will here mention a few cases of the kind: 
The Rev. Carroll Long, presiding elder, and the Rev. J. 
G. Swisher had gone to Decatur, Tenn., to hold a quar- 
terly meeting, when they were seized by a mob, taken 
to Athens, and forced to carry a pole on their shoul- 
ders amid the taunts and jeers of the mob and of oth- 
er lewd men of the baser sort. The Rev. Jacob Brill- 
hart was seized at Cedar Springs, not far from Athens, 
and made to ride on a rail without a saddle. Brillhart 
was an aged, venerable, and harmless minister of the 


Methodist Episcopal Church, South. I regret that I 
cannot give the names of those who composed these 
mobs. On the principle of "honor to whom honor" 
the names of these valiant soldiers of loyal Methodism 
ought to be given to posterity. 

In the memorial mention was made of a Southern 
Methodist preacher who was brutally assaulted by a 
mob in Blount County, Tenn. That preacher was 
Henry C. Neal, who was admitted into the Holston 
Conference on trial in 1862, who had not been in the 
army, and who was a prudent, harmless man, "a son 
of God without rebuke." By request he wrote, in 
1870, an account of his persecution for the Historical 
Society. The account is as follows : 

The Conference at Cleveland in 1867 was* the first Confer- 
ence held in East Tennessee after the war. The trials, hard- 
ships, and persecutions through which many of the brethren 
had passed during the year were forgotten in the joy we felt 
in- greeting each other again in the flesh. Our annual meet- 
ings are always happy occasions to me. The Conference at 
Cleveland, however, was the most pleasant one we had ever 
attended, owing, doubtless, to the hardships and dangers 
which we had encountered during the past year. Before read- 
ing the appointments the bishop delivered an address to the 
preachers in reference to their work, urging them to a faith- 
ful discharge of duty. We felt that we were willing to go 
anywhere and to do and suffer for the cause of Christ. My 
appointment was Maryville and Louisville Circuit. The as- 
sociations connected with this circuit were anything but pleas- 
ant. Brother L. K. Haynes had been appointed to that cir- 
cuit the year before, but was compelled to leave it by cruel 
mobs raised for that purpose. I resolved, however, to go to 
the circuit, do the best I could, and leave the result with God. 
I reached Louisville Saturday morning after the adjournment 
of Conference. It was upon my arrival here that I heard for 




the first time of some of the "disloyal doings" of the Con- 
ference at Cleveland, one of which was that "the rebel Holston 
Conference had passed a resolution forbidding its preachers 
from shaking hands with our preachers." I asked where they 
got their information. They replied that Brother William 
H. Rogers had come direct from the site of the Conference 
and was present when the resolution was passed. I told them 
that Brother Rogers was mistaken; that no such resolution 
was before the Conference. 

During the few days that I remained in Louisville a friend 
handed me a paper published in Maryvillc containing an edi- 
torial about myself, and stating that he (the editor) was 
unacquainted with me, had nothing against me personally, but 
that the people would judge of me by my company, and that 
I would not be allowed to organize my Church in that country. 
I resolved, however, to "trust in God and do the right." As 
there was no "plan of the circuit," I had to make and circu- 
late the appointments myself. I went into the neighborhood 
of Axley's Chapel on Thursday, December 5. Axley's Chapel 
is about five miles below Morganton, on the Tennessee River. 
I circulated as best I could an appointment for preaching on 
Sunday, the 8th, at 11 a.-m., and sent a note to Mr. Duggan, 
the school-teacher at Morganton, to the effect that I would 
preach there (Morganton) Sunday at 3 p.m. 

I learned that there was organized at Axley's Chapel and 
other places the "United States Church" by the Rev. William 
H. Rogers. I was informed, however, that it was the real, 
design of Brother Rogers to organize the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and that the members taken in regarded themselves 
as belonging to that Church, In this neighborhood I found a 
good deal of feeling existing in consequence of the resolution 
which Rev. Rogers had said was passed by the' Conference 
at Cleveland in regard to "shaking hands" and the contempt 
and insult which, he asserted was heaped upon him and others 
in that they were not introduced to the Conference. 

On Sunday morning as I rode up to the church I was sur- 
prised to see that such a large number of persons had come 
to the meeting. There were some forty or fifty outside of the 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 463 

church and apparently a goodly number inside. While I was 
hitching my horse two elderly gentlemen from the crowd out- 
side of the house approached me and introduced themselves 
as Brothers Mizel and Carpenter, the class leaders of the 
Church at that place, the latter being also a justice of the 
peace. I was, of course, glad to form their acquaintance. They 
at once informed me that they had been "appointed by the 
Church" to inform me that it would be best for me not to 
try to have a meeting at that place and that it would not do 
for me to undertake it. I asked them the meaning of such a 
procedure. They replied that the people were not willing to 
hear me. I replied that there was no law in the land to force 
people to hear preaching against their will. They said that 
if I preached there it would produce division and strife, for 
the hearts of the people in that neighborhood were "wounded." 
I replied that they were the ones above all others that ought 
to hear preaching, for the gospel was a balm to the wounded 
heart and that I never had preached and never intended preach- 
ing anything but the gospel. They replied that a preacher 
ought to preach something else aside from the gospel. I 
finally asked them if their objecting to my preaching was 
based upon anything personal against me. They answered: 
"We have nothing in the world against you." I then asked 
them if they based their objections upon anything against the 
Church I represented, and said that I had its confession of 
faith, the Discipline, and that if they would point to a single 
solitary flaw in it in any respect whatever I would immedi- 
ately sever my connection with it. They replied: "One Meth- 
odist Church in this country is enough." The answer I gave 
to this was about as follows: "The M. E. Church, South, is 
the one that has ever been in tins country. It is the Church, 
brethren, in which both of you were converted; it is the 
Church in which I was converted and in which all the Meth- 
odists in this country were com/erted. It is the Church from 
which many of our kindred have gone to the abodes of the 
blest in heaven. If it has done so much good, why not allow 
it to continue to try to do good? Brother, what possible harm 
can there be in going into the church here and singing the songs 


of Zion together and praying with and for each other? Breth- 
ren, let us gp into the church and worship together, and let 
us so wtfrship that we may finally worship together in heaven." 
I then entered the . church. I noticed, however, that 
Brothers Mizel and Carpenter did not go in. I found a goodly 
number of persons in the church. I walked up into the pulpit 
and bowed before my God in prayer. I had no sooner done 
this, however, than I heard a considerable noise in the house 
as of persons running over the floor, which lasted, however, 
but a few moments. When I arose, I perceived that half or 
more of the congregation had disappeared from within the 
house, but still lingered in front of and around the house. 1 
then announced services. After singing and prayer, and while 
the second hymn was being sung, Brother /Mizel entered the 
church, walked up to the pulpit, and handed me the following 
notice : "Mr. Neal, you must not come here at all. Remember, 
remember, O remember well, this must be your last time at 
this place, or we will attend to you." As soon as Brother 
Mizel handed me the note he retired. The crowd outside 
then dispersed with the exception of some six or eight, who 
during the entire services employed their time in kicking open 
the door, running up and jerking it shut, and in other ways 
disturbing the worship. I referred in no way whatever tc 
the note handed me or to those disturbing us. 

When I arrived at Morganton, I learned from young 
Brother Duggan, the school-teacher, who was also an old 
acquaintance, that he had not given notice that I was expected 
to preach there at 3 p.m. The people of the village had 
learned, however, that I would be there. I had a small con- 
gregation. I saw no indication whatever of any opposition tc 
my preaching. This encouraged me. I remained in the neigh- 
borhood till Tuesday morning. On . Monday night, however 
(as I afterwards learned from Mr. Duggan), a considerable 
number of men met to consider my "case." Mr. Duggan (as 
he informed me) met with them to prevent violence as far 
as possible. They first resolved to proceed in a body to my 
host's,v take me from my room, and "whip" me. Mr. Duggan 
insisted that the better plan would be to talk to me, etc, ; that 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 465 

mild means were always preferable when the object could thus 
be accomplished. They finally adopted his plan. 

I left Morganton on Tuesday, the 10th. I had not pro- 
ceeded more than half a mile when I was overtaken by a 
gentleman on horseback who introduced himself to me as 
Mr. Fulkerson, a captain in the Federal army, and then asked 
me if I was not the Southern Methodist preacher who had 
preached Sunday evening at Morganton. I told him I was. 
He then spoke about as. follows: "We Federal soldiers re- 
gard horse thieves and the Southern Methodist Church as 
the only two rebel organizations but what surrendered with 
Lee's army, and we are determined, God being our helper, that 
it shall not exist in this country. I . would as lief my house 
Were surrounded by rebel pickets as for Southern Methodist 
preachers to preach in that house. You preached there Sun- 
day evening, but I did not know it, or I would have prevented 
you." I then entered into an argument with him to show that 
my Church was not "a rebel organization ;" that his views 
were entirely erroneous ; "and if you will," I continued, "point 
to a single word my Church ever uttered in its capacity as a 
Church or to a breath it ever breathed that even indicated 
disloyalty to the United States Government, I will leave it in 
a moment, I will hold my connection with it no longer. It is 
true that many of the members of the Church were rebels, 
but they were rebels as citizens, not as members of the Church. 
Their political views had nothing in the world to do with 
their religion or Church relations." "We take," said he, "dif- 
ferent views entirely, and are determined that the Southern 
preachers shall not preach in this country." "Do you not 
think," said I, "that if I were to do wrong, that if I were to 
prejudice in any way the minds of the people or even the 
mind of a single individual against the laws as they are ad- 
ministered, the strong arm of the civil government could 
not— yea, would not— punish me?" "There is," said he, "no law 
against your preaching; but the government cannot reach 
every case, and we loyal people have to take such things into 
our own hands." "But. Mr. Fulkerson," I replied, "your 
policy is not good. Do you not know that when a people are 



persecuted for their principles, especially their, religious prin- 
ciples, you only make these principles dearer to them, and 
that they will cling the closer to them on account of the per- 
secution?" "Your proposition," said he, "is true as a general 
thing;* but in this case it is so much a one-sided thing that 
we can completely crush it, and we intend to do it by the 
help of God. The success of the Southern Methodist Church 
depends upon the success of the conservative party, and one 
thing is certain: it cannot have an existence in Blount." I 
then told him that I was very sorry that he entertained such 
views ; that they were very illiberal, to say the least of them. 
"Neal," said he, "I have heard of you before, heard of your 
disposition and manner of talking. Your Conference sent 
you here because it supposed we could have nothing against 
you, but I want you to distinctly understand that we will 
keep you from preaching as soon as any vile-mouthed rebel 
in the land. Neal, I like you as a man, and would, no doubt, 
like you as a preacher if you were only on the right side. 
You ought to come over; and if you ever do, I want you to 
come and see me. You will find in me a friend and my house 
a home. But till then you are never to darken my door. I 
want you also to distinctly understand that if you come back 
here. I will meet you with a sufficient number of men to keep 
you from preaching. You shall not preach in this country 
as a Southern Methodist preacher." We then shook hands 
and parted. 

On Friday, December 13, I arrived at Maryville, where I 
found some warm friends. As I walked out on the street 
Saturday morning I thought I could perceive that there was 
something unusual going on, judging from the number of 
men on the street, all of whom seemed to be excited. Most 
of them were on horses, and seemed to be leaving town in an 
eastwardly direction. I, of course, could form no idea of the 
meaning of the scene I had just witnessed. I remained in 
Maryville till Saturday afternoon, when I rode out some two 
miles in the direction of Mount Moriah, where I was to 
preach the following day at 11 a.m. Early Sabbath morning 
a Mr. Davis, from Maryville, came out in great haste to see 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 467 

me before I should start to my appointment at Mount Moriah. 
He spoke to me about as follows: "I saw you pass through 
Maryville yesterday evening coming in this direction. I sup- 
posed that you expected to preach at Mount Moriah to-day 
and that you would about reach here last night. I rode out 
this morning to see you from a sense of duty to let you know 
the danger you are in. Captain Parham, one of our promi- 
nent citizens and a justice of the peace, made up a company 
of eighteen or twenty men, white and black together, and went 
out yesterday morning to Mount Moriah to take you in hand, 
supposing that your appointment was there yesterday; but 
as you were not there, part of them went to Louisville, hoping 
to find you there. They are still looking for you. It will not 
do for you to fall into their hands. They are a set of reso- 
lute men. My advice would be for you to get out of the 
country as quickly as you can. I know something of their 
plans, and it will not do for you to go to Mount Moriah or 
to Louisville. The only safe thing for you to do is to leave 
the country." 

When I arrived at Mount Moriah, I learned that Captain 
Parham and his men had been there the day before. When 
he learned that my appointment was not till Sunday, he told 
the school-teacher (who was teaching on Saturday in order 
that his school might close before Christmas) to send word 
to the people through the children that there would be no 
services on Sunday, as the preacher would not be allowed to 
come. My congregation was small, and we were not dis- 
turbed during the services. 

Saturday, January 11, 1868, I spent in Morganton. About 
nine o'clock at night four men were seen in the yard of my 
host. Their object seemed to be to ascertain who were in the 
house or to hear what was said by its inmates, judging from 
their proximity and their attempts to look through the win- 
dows. They soon, however, disappeared. On Sunday morn- 
ing, the 12th, I found that my horse was missing from the 
stable. I inferred from the appearances about the door that 
he had been taken out. My appointment was at eleven o'clock. 
Word was brought me before I started to the church that Cap- 


tain Fulkerson was at the church with a considerable number 
of men to prevent my preaching; that the Captain himself 
was walking to and fro in the street before the church with a 
pistol *in his hand, swearing that he would kill me if I should 
even come in sight. 

I started to the church in company with a young lady. 
When we were within about seventy-five yards of the church, 
Captain Fulkerson met me with his hand in his bosom. I 
suppose he had his hand on his pistol. When I came to where 
he was, he said: "Mr. Neal, I wish to speak to you a moment." 
I asked the young lady to excuse me and stepped aside a few 
paces, when he said: "I wish to tell you that you must not 
enter that church." "Captain," said I, "if I do wrong, if I 
injure you or any one else, the law will protect you and pun- 
ish me." "If you enter that house," said he, "you will do it 
over my dead body." "Very well, Captain," said I ; "we 
will go down and see." I then stepped back to the young lady 
who was accompanying me, and with her proceeded toward 
the church, in front of which was a considerable crowd. The 
Captain in the meantime ran down to the church, exclaiming 
in rather an elevated tone of voice: "I summon every one of 
you to help me keep this man out of that house." 

The crowd was composed of white and black men. As I 
proceeded toward them the Captain commanded them to shoot 
me, which order they did not obey. One of them, however, 
who was a little in advance of the others said: "You sha'n't 
enter this house, sir." "You are here," said I, "to prevent 
my entering the house, are you, sir?" "I have been legally 
summoned for that purpose," said he. "What is your name?" 
said I. This question seemed to embarrass him. He was 
silent for a moment, and then looked around to Captain Ful- 
kerson, who said : "It is none of your business what his name 
is. These men are not responsible, sir; I am responsible." 
"But, Captain," said I, "some of them look as if they might 
be responsible." "No, sir; I am responsible," said he. 

By this time the man whose name I had asked for had 
stepped rather to one side. His name was Joseph Walker. He 
had been but a short time out of the penitentiary— turned 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 469 

out by executive clemency — and at this time was under an 
indictment for robbery, but his friends had bailed him out of 
jail. The next man to whom I addressed myself was by the 
name of Shoemaker. He had but one eye. He was a Cana- 
dian by birth, and had said of himself that he got into a dif- 
ficulty with one of his countrymen, killed him, and escaped to 
New York, where some Federal officers made him drunk and 
put him into the army, and that he deserted. At the time of 
which I speak (January 12, 1868) he was living in Blount 
County. I addressed him as follows: "And are you here 
too, sir, to keep me out of " the church?" "Yes, sir, I am," 
said he. "And what do you want to keep me out of the church 
for?" said I. "No rebel, sir, shall enter this church," said he. 
"And you call me rebel, do you?" said I. "What evidence 
have you, sir, that I am a rebel?" At this question he ap- 
peared embarrassed and stepped back. Fulkerson replied with 
emphasis and apparently with anger: "You belong to a rebel 
organization, sir." (In giving the Captain's language I omit 
his profanity.) "Why, Captain," said I, "if you will just men- 
tion a single act that my Church ever did that was disloyal, 
1 will leave it at once." At this the Captain stepped up to 
me with his right hand in his bosom and, gently striking me 
on the right breast with his left hand, said: "Shut your 
mouth; you sha'n't speak, sir. If you open your mouth again, 
I will kill you." "I not open my mouth?" I said. "Not open 
my mouth? Why, Captain, I am astonished at you. Not 
open my mouth? Why, Captain, didn't you know that it is 
natural for me to open my mouth? And when I open it, I 
must talk." "Well," said he, "if you must talk, talk to me 
aside." "O no," said I, "I have no side talk, Captain ; I want 
this people to hear everything I say. I think, Captain, you 
know me very well, and you know very well that I desire no 
difficulty. I came here to preach the gospel; and as there is 
a nice little congregation that have come to hear me, and as 
it seems I cannot preach here in peace, I will go with them 
to the other church and preach to them." "Yes," said he, 
"and they shall pay dearly for entertaining you." "Well, 
Captain," said I, "pay dearly or no pay dearly, it is a nice little 


crowd, finer-looking than yours, Captain." I then went with 
my little congregation to the other church, where we wor- 
shiped quietly and, I hope, to profit. 

I borrowed a horse to go to my appointment at Axley's 
Chapel, where I was to preach at 3:30. When I arrived at 
the chapel, I found about thirty men and boys standing around 
a small fire a few rods from the church, and I found the doors 
and windows of the church all securely fastened. I learned 
that a part of the crowd standing around the fire arrived early 
in the morning, carefully fastened the door and windows, and 
had stood guard all day to prevent any one from entering the 
house. A congregation soon assembled, but could not get 
into the house, and it was too cold to preach outside. I was 
troubled. I went to the door and examined it. I found that 
it was fastened from the inside, and naturally inferred that 
one of the windows must be fastened from the outside unless 
some one was in the house. I therefore examined all the 
windows, and to my surprise could find no place where the 
person fastening the door could have come out. All the win- 
dows seemed to be fastened from the inside. I was baffled. 
When I was examining the door and windows, all eyes were 
upon me, both friends and foes going around the house as I 
did. Not a word was spoken. A solemnity seemed to per- 
vade the company. I went a second time to the door. I 
could not be mistaken as to the manner of fastening it. I 
started again to try the windows. Friends and foes followed. 
This time I was more successful. One of the windows I found 
to be fastened with a small piece of leather prepared for the 
purpose placed on the sill and the shutter forced upon it. 
This piece of leather I managed to get out, when the shutter 
opened almost of its own accord. I then raised the sash and 
entered the church. I found several benches against the door. 
I soon opened it, however, when my congregation entered. 
The services were not further disturbed. The "guards" left 
the premises as soon as preaching commenced. 

I spent February 1 in the neighborhood of Morganton. On 
Sunday morning, February 2, as I came in sight of the church 
at Morganton I was surprised to see that the people were as- 

CONFERENCES OF 1 867 AND 1 868. 47 1 

sembling so soon, as by my time it was but a few minutes 
after ten o'clock, and the hour for preaching was eleven. As 
it was nearly an hour till preaching time, I went to a friend's 
house near the church, where I remained some three-quarters 
of an. hour. Just as I started to the church I saw some five 
or six men leave Captain Fulkerson's and in a fast walk 
start toward the church. Captain Fulkerson lived about 
seventy-five yards from the church. When they reached the 
door, they halted and looked at me until I got nearly up to 
them, when they all with one exception went into the house. 
When I reached the door, I perceived that the house was about 
filled with people. About, two-thirds of them were black peo- 
ple. The pulpit was occupied by two men — one a tall black 
man, the other a medium-sized "white man. I took a seat 
that happened to be vacant near the door. All eyes were 
upon me in a moment. As I was in the rear of the congrega- 
tion, they had to look around to see me ; and from their titters 
and grimaces, especially of the black women, I saw that I 
was the object of their contempt. The white man in the 
pulpit, however, seemed by the contortions of his face to 
manifest, if possible, more contempt than the others. The 
scene was the most novel I ever witnessed. I remained in the 
house only a few minutes. I returned to the place where I 
had stopped before going to the church, and preached there 
at the request of my hostess. 

I started in due time to Axley's Chapel, where I was to 
preach at 3 130 p.m. As I passed Captain Fulkerson's, I saw 
three men standing in the yard looking at me. I noticed also 
that there were two horses hitched at his gate. When I 
reached the summit of a hill some two hundred and fifty 
yards from Fulkerson's house, I saw eight or ten men at the 
house of Mr. Cobb, who lived about one hundred and fifty yards 
farther on. When they saw me, one of them ran down to the 
gate, mounted a horse that was hitched there, and went on be- 
fore me at a rapid pace. I observed also that two of the men 
whom I saw at Captain Fulkerson's had mounted their horses 
and were following me. 

When about three-quarters of a mile from Morganton, I 


overtook Mr. H., a young man of my acquaintance, on his 
way to Monroe County to visit some relatives. We rode 
leisurely along together for about one-half of a mile, when 
we saw two men some fifty yards before us and coming to 
meet us. The one on our right had his left hand in his pocket ; 
the other had his right hand in his pocket. As we came up 
to them I said : "Good morning, gentlemen." I had no sooner 
spoken to them than they simultaneously seized the reins of 
my bridle and placed cocked revolvers against my breast, 
swearing that if I opened- my mouth they would blow my 
brains put. My young friend got away in a hurry. I saw that 
I was completely in the power of my wicked enemies. The 
man on my right in a moment let go the bridle rein, but with 
the same hand took hold of my foot to push me from my 
horse, at the same time ordering me to get off and to be 
quick about it. To prevent falling, I dismounted. Just at 
this moment several men sprang into the road from the 
bushes behind me, one of them exclaiming, prefacing his excla- 
mation with an awful oath : "Blindfold him, so that he can't 
see us!" Their cocked revolvers were still at my breast. 
Obeying the orders of his leader, one of them in a very rough 
manner thrust his thumb and fingers into my eyes, and the 
other placed the comforter that was around my neck over my 
face. In the meantime the men from behind rushed upon me, 
one of them giving me a severe blow (with a pistol, I sup- 
pose) on. the -back of my head, which would probably have 
proved fatal but for the comforter, which' modified the blow. 
I then received a blow on the right side of my head which 
so stunned me that for a moment (I suppose it was only a 
moment) I was insensible. The latter blow, as T afterwards 
learned, inflicted an awful wound, laying bare the skull some 
two inches. From the fact that my head was bruised in other 
places I infer that I received other blows, but I did not feel 
them at the time. As I could not see, I could not tell the 
number of men in the crowd, but I suppose there were some 
eight or ten. They then blindfolded me securely and started 
with me in a .very rough manner, but I could not tell in what 
direction. : I knew, however, that ft was through the woods 

CONFERENCES OF 1 867 AND 1 868. 473 

from the leaves and brush over which we were going. They 
moved so rapidly and the way was so rough that I fell two 
or three times, which seemed the more to enrage them, judging 
from the manner in which they jerked me about and dragged 
me along. When they had taken me about one hundred and 
fifty yards, they stripped me to my shirt,, tied me with a rope 
to a tree, and then two of them, one on each side, began beat- 
ing me with withes. From the sound and sensation I inferred 
that there were several withes in the hands of each man. 
The beating soon ceased to be painful. Sensation had been 
destroyed; and although the beating continued, I felt it not. 
I suppose they continued till they wore the withes out. They 
then untied me, made me lie down with my face to the ground, 
and threw my overcoat over my head, swearing that if I moved 
till they got away they would riddle me with bullets. From 
the time they met me in the road till they left me in the 
woods they seemed to vie with each other in profanity. I 
never heard the like before, and I hope I never shall hear it 
again. It was absolutely awful. 

When they were all gone, I got up and with but little pain 
put on my clothes. I did not know where I was. I saw a 
branch near by; and followed its course, supposing that it 
would lead me to the Tennessee River. I soon, however, 
came to the road. I took the right hand end of it, leading 
toward Axley's Chapel. I had not proceeded far till I ob- 
served that my clothes were saturated with blood. The wound 
in my head was bleeding profusely, which made me rather ap- 
prehensive lest I might faint by the way, where no good Samar- 
itan would be permitted to come. I had proceeded about one 
mile when I came up with my horse, but the saddle and 
saddlebags were missing. An old gentleman, however, that 
lived near by loaned me a saddle with the understanding that 
I was to send it back next morning. My intention was to 
get to Dr. Douthit's, where I might receive medical treatment. 
When I was within one mile of Axley's Chapel, where I was 
to have preached, I met Captain Fulkerson, with five other 
mounted men, returning from the chapel. They halted when 
we met. The Captain asked me if I expected to preach at the 


chapel. I replied: "I, am not able to preach." Mr. Cobb then 
said: "What is the matter with you?" In as few words as I 
could I told him what had happened, then bade them good 
evening and went on. I arrived at Dr. Douthit's about sun- 
down. Here I received all the sympathy, kindness, and atten- 
tion that friendship could bestow. Dr. Douthit is one of the 
most complete specimens of a gentleman I ever knew. . 

I learned that the scene at the chapel in the evening was a 
very exciting one. A number of men had early in the morn- 
ing securely fastened the doors and windows, and had stood 
guard all day. By three o'clock there was a large gathering 
of people, a considerable number of them from Monroe 
County. They had met with a determination not to allow 
preaching. One man was so exercised about it that he said 
if they could only keep me from preaching the millennium 
would come. At about 3:30 Captain Fulkerson, with several 
others, arrived from Morganton. The multitude gathered 
around him, and he addressed them -about as follows (except 
the profanity, and the address was very profane) : "Gentle- 
men, I do not know whether the scoundrel will be here or not. 
I saw a saddle and saddlebags in the road as I came along. 
I suppose they are his. [A voice : "Spea"k lounder, so that his 
friends can hear."] There is no use in talking to him. I am 
not going to talk to him any more. [Charles Davis, a mem- 
ber of the M. E. Church : "I'll do the talking to him."] He is 
as bold as a lion. The way for us to do is to turn on his 
friends — shoot them down on sight. When you know of any 
person feeding him or his horse or giving him any encourage- 
ment whatever, shoot their brains out. [Cheers.] If you 
have no pistols, take your knives and cut their throats- from 
ear to ear. [Cheers.] If you have no knives, beat them with 
your fists. If it had not been for his friends, he would not 
have been here." Mr. Carpenter, the class leader, then pro- 
ceeded with paper and pencil to take down the names of all 
my friends, male and female, thus making them the objects 
of vengeance. 

On Monday a negro man very kindly consented to go in 
search of my saddle and saddlebags. He found them near the 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 475 

place where I was so terribly abused. He refused to receive 
compensation. I shall ever cherish his memory. 

A few remarks on the above: This is one of the 
most sensational and soul-sickening stories in all ec- 
clesiastical history. Did it occur in the Dark Ages? 
No ; it occurred in the boasted nineteenth century. Did 
it occur in darkest Africa ? No ; it occurred in enlight- 
ened America. Were the actors pagan savages ? No ; 
some of them were members and representatives of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, professed followers 
of the meek and lowly Jesus. Such a combination of 
diabolism and rank hypocrisy has seldom been dis- 
played on the face of the earth. Were these villains 
ever brought to justice for disturbing public worship 
and for this murderous assault upon a minister of the 
gospel ? No ; and this fact makes the officers of the 
law and, indeed, some private citizens of Blount 
County accessory to these crimes. Did the perpetra- 
tors of these crimes expect to be punished ? No ; for 
they knew that the government of Tennessee was not 
in the hands of the people, and that if they should be 
convicted" and sentenced to punishment by the courts 
they would find ready pardon with the authorities at 

As to the "disloyal doings" of the Cleveland Confer- 
ence: The Conference did refuse to allow ministers of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church to be introduced, and 
assigned a reason for it ; but this was not a refusal to 
shake hands with them privately and socially. The ac- 
tion of the Conference was no doubt intentionally mis- 
represented, that the so-called loyal element might be 
aroused to deeds of violence against the Southern 


preachers. But even if the Conference had advised the 
social ostracism of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
preachers, that would have been no justification of the 
infamous proceedings against Henry C. Neal. 

The story of the organization of the "United States 
Church" was no fable. The preachers of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church hoped to ride into popularity on the 
tide of national success in the. war recently closed. 
The Rev. William C. Daily, after performing a funeral 
ceremony in the Cleveland cemetery one day, an- 
nounced that at a certain date and place he would hold 
a "United States quarterly meeting !" 

It should be borne in mind that when class leaders 
and others were waiting upon Brother Neal and for- 
bidding his preaching in the Methodist churches of the 
Maryville and Louisville Circuit they were attempt- 
ing to exclude him from the churches of the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church, South; the Methodist Episcopal 
• Church had no church buildings in that country at that 
time. The Church relations of the objecting parties, 
their opposition to Neal solely on the ground that he 
represented the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
and their plea, "One Methodist Church is enough in 
this country" — all these things show from what source 
the opposition came and what party was responsible 
for the outrages mentioned in the memorial presented 
by the Holston Conference, South, to the General Con- 
ference (North). 

In his arguments with Captain Fulkerson Brother 
Neal seems to have been ignorant of the acts of the 
Conference in regard to Union preachers during the 
war; but the war had now been over three years, the 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 477 

Southern States had retaken their places in the Un- 
ion, general amnesty had been proclaimed, the Con- 
ference had petitioned the General Conference to re- 
store the expelled ministers to their places in the Con- 
ference, and it had been done with the exception of one 
man. The people had had time to become cool. There 
was no danger of the breaking out of a new insurrec- 
tion. A Southern Methodist preacher could do no 
harm in Blount County unless it was to interfere with 
the plans of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which 
contemplated the destruction of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, in East Tennessee and the taking 
and holding of its property. 

The acts of the Conference during the war, under 
the rulings of Bishop Early, had alienated the Union 
membership in East Tennessee from the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, or rather had intensified the 
alienation already begun from political causes and fur- 
nished a pretext for the organization of a Holston 
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. These 
acts of the Holston Conference, South, had placed the 
Church, South, at a disadvantage in the eyes of the 
general public ; and while in view of the good name of 
the Christian religion the persecutions of our preach- 
ers in East Tennessee are to be regretted, we are un- 
der real obligations to the persecutors, especially those 
of Blount County, for turning the tide in our favor. 
These persecutions were a great uplift to the cause of 
Southern Methodism in East Tennessee, and put the 
Methodist Episcopal Church on the laboring oar. As 
a result in part of these persecutions, we now have in 
"loyal Blount" one station and two circuits, all well 


sustained. The Methodist Episcopal Church had 
mapped* out the entire Southern territory into Con- 
ferences and entered upon a policy of "disintegra- 
tion and absorption." It was a work of invasion and 
conquest. After the Federal forces had forced the 
passage of the Mississippi River and occupied large 
portions of the South, Bishop. Ames and some of the' 
preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church followed 
the. victorious army with a circular order issued to its 
officers under date of November 30, 1863, from the 
Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, in which he said : 

You are hereby directed to place at the disposal of Bishop 
Ames all houses of worship of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, in which a loyal minister who has been ap- 
pointed by a loyal bishop of said Church does not officiate. 

Armed with this order, officials of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church took possession of several houses 
of worship against the remonstrance of the members 
who owned them, and rilled the pulpits with their 
enemies, to the exclusion of ministers appointed by the 
Church authorities. Even after the close of the war 
possession of several of these houses was maintained 
till they were restored by a governmental order. Dr. 
Matlock, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, presid- 
ing elder of the New Orleans District, in the Central 
Christian Advocate, of St. Louis, of March 15, 1870, 

With the humiliation of the South, the flight of her min- 
isters, our Church by national authority occupied and held 
many pulpits of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. No 
other denomination did just as we did in the matter. Tem- 
porary occupancy of pulpits occurred in some instances with 
others, but our ministers stood in the attitude of conquerors. 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND l868. 479 

They differed little in appearance from the relation of in- 
vaders. It did not so appear to them. It did so appear to 
the Church, South. It is so esteemed by them now. . . . 
If our occupancy of the pulpits of the Church, South, had been 
only for the purpose of offering the preaching of the word to 
deserted congregations and on the return of their pastors and 
the restoration of peace had been yielded up gracefully, it 
would have been better for the peace of the Methodist family. 
But such was not the case. Claims were set up to the property 
on questionable grounds. Possession was retained until we 
were compelled to relinquish it by civil authority. 
Did we not wrong our brethren in this thing? Is not con- 
fession of wrong far better than defense of wrong? Can we 
ignore our duty and be guiltless before God and the Church 
of Christ? Our attitude as a Church toward the South both 
ecclesiastically and politically needs to be carefully examined. 

This spirit of conquest prevailed in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in East Tennessee. It took the form 
of intimidation and physical violence. The screw was 
driven too tight, and split the plank. 

From a letter to the author from the Rev. George 
W. Jackson I glean the following items in relation to 
the Neal affair: When Mr. Neal opened the window 
of Axley's Chapel and entered the house December 8, 
.1867, Charles T. P. Davis and Thomas Sampson were 
standing near by on the outside; and when they saw 
that the people had entered the church, they shook 
their heads in disapprobation and left. When Neal 
was whipped, he was tied to a persimmon tree. In the 
crowd assembled at Axley's Chapel to prevent preach- 
ing by Neal was one John T. Carpenter, who took an 
active part in this lawless business. Fulkerson, Neal's 
principal persecutor, still lives in Washington City 
(1909). C. T. P. Davis died suddenly in November, 


1888. John T. Carpenter died in 1883. It was re- 
ported that before he breathed his last he desired to 
send for Brother Neal ; but that his brother, Andrew 
Carpenter, would not agree to it. Neal was then on 
the Philadelphia Circuit. Thomas Sampson lives near 
Harriman (1909). Brother Jackson has understood 
that a part Indian did most of the whipping— hired to 
do it. 

The Rev. George Thomas Gray had a walking cane 
made of the tree to which Neal was tied. 

William M. Wightman, D.D., LL.D., was born in 
Charleston, S. C, January 29, 1808; and died in the 
same city February 15, 1882. His father was a native 
of that city; his mother, of Plymouth, England. He 
graduated from the College of Charleston in 1827. 
Early in 1825 he was converted, and by the time his 
education was completed he had become convinced 
that it was his duty to preach. He was licensed to 
preach in 1827, during his senior year at college.* In 
1828 he was admitted into the .South Carolina Confer- 1 
ence. In 1834 he was appointed Agent of Randolph- 
Macon College. Pie resigned this position in 1838, 
and returned to the pastoral work. He was a delegate 
to the General Conference of 1840, and was elected by 
that body editor of the Southern Christian Advocate. 
He held this position fourteen years, when he was 
elected President of Wofford College at its opening in 
1854. In 1859 he was elected Chancellor of the South- 
ern University, at Greensboro, Ala v and was elected 
bishop in 1866. 1 

He presided over the Holston Conference at Cleve- 

1 Simpson's "Cyclopedia of Methodism," 

CONFERENCES OF 1867 AND 1 868. 48 1 

land in 1867, at Knoxville in 1868, and at Bristolin 
1876. He also held several District Conferences in 
Holston. He was a man of very superior gifts, of 
considerable learning and general intelligence, of great 
gravity and dignity of deportment, constant prayerful- 
ness, and deep piety. He was a good presiding offi- 
cer, well versed in the law and parliamentary usage, 
thoughtful, sympathetic, and impartial in the use of 
the appointing power. He was one of the greatest 
preachers of the Church, combining in his sermons 
depth, eloquence, and impressive delivery. Physically 
he was perhaps a little above the average in size, and 
his person was handsome and vigorous. His scholar- 
ship was critical; he delighted in the refinements of 
thought, and he was not averse to the use of classical 
phrases and scientific illustrations. In addressing a 
graduating class once, he said : "Young gentlemen, this 
salient point in your history has hitherto been to you 
the point ad quid; from this time forward it will be to 
you the point a quo." 

Wigbtman was one of that remarkable College of 
Bishops that took the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, torn to pieces by the ravages of war and inter- 
nal dissensions and dilapidated, and by wise adminis- 
tration, indomitable energy and industry, and matchless 
preaching brought it up out of its own ashes, rehabil- 
itated it, and made it what it was before the war — the 
most powerful evangelical force in the Southern States. 
As an editor Wightman wrote much and thoughtfully 
and elegantly ; as a teacher and college director he 
was in demand ; and his life of Bishop Capers is an ex- 
cellent portraiture of a great man, 



Conference of 1869. 

The forty-sixth session of the Conference was held 
in Abingdon, Va., beginning September 22, 1869, Bish- 
op David S. Doggett presiding, R. N. Price Secretary, 
and Jacob R. Payne and James K. Stringfield Assist- 
ants. The following lay delegates answered to their 
names: Eli C. Hale, Peter Gallagher, John W. Paul- 
ette, Rev. W. E. Neil, Dr. M. Y. Heiskell, Dr. J. F. 
Broyles, W. B. Aston, Vincent A. Moore, J. K. P. Ball, 
David Cleage, V. C. Allen, Samuel H. Dickey, John 
A. Winton, R. B. Vance, David Proffitt, J. D. Rey- 
nolds, J. H. Calfee, William G. Wilson. 

David Sullins preached the Conference sermon the 
first evening of the session. 

A resolution offered by Dr. Wiley was adopted pro- 
hibiting the appointment of any man on more than 
one committee. 

On the second day of the session the following lay 
delegates appeared and took their seats: Rev. James 
Wagg, Rev. T. P. Thomas, James M. Kelley, and Rev. 
E. E. Hoss. 

The following resolution, offered by J. K. String- 
field and E. E. Wiley, was adopted : 

Resolved, That the Committee on Church Property be re- 
quested to ascertain as far as possible the exact amount of 
property in the bounds of the Conference rightfully belonging 
to the M. E. Church, South, now wrongfully held by the M. 
E, Church (North), and to state in their report the probable 
value of said property and also specify the places where it is 
to be found. 



Rev. C. H. Wiley, of the Presbyterian Church, 
Agent of the American Bible Society, was introduced 
and invited to a. seat within the bar. Before taking his 
seat he made some very catholic and touching remarks, 
to which the Bishop made an appropriate response. 
Revs. Messrs. Stewart and Hogshead, of the same 
Church, were also introduced and invited to seats with- 
in the bar. 

On the third day the following lay delegates ap- 
peared and took their seats : Dr. G. A. Long, James D. 
Johnson, Albert G. Pendleton, Edward Johnson, Rev. 
George Spake. 

On the fourth day the following lay delegates ap- 
peared and took their seats : Rev. T. P. Summers, Da- 
vid A. Browder, H. S. Bowen, E. C. Reeves. 

On the fifth day the Rev. Dr. George R. Barr, of the 
Methodist Protestant Church, was introduced and in- 
vited to a seat within the bar. 

Samuel B. Harwell was received from the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church. Alexander Doniphan was re- 
ceived from the Methodist Protestant Church in eld- 
er's orders. 

The Conference elected the following delegates to 
the General Conference: Carroll Long, David Sullins, 
E. E. Wiley, John M. McTeer, W. G. E. Cunnyngham. 
Reserves : R. N. Price, William Hicks. Lay delegates : 
Robert B. Vance, Rev. T. P. Thomas, Felix W. Ear- 
nest, David Cleage, William B. Aston. Reserves: 
Henry S. Bowen and Dr. G. A. Long. 

One of the most interesting features of this session 
of the Conference was the address of Dr. William E. 
Mnnsey on the subject of "Missions on Monday Morn- 

CONFERENCE OF 1869. 485 

ing." Dr. Munsey was at that time Missionary Sec- 
retary. He had been appointed to the missionary sec- 
retaryship in view of his raising money to pay the mis- 
sionary debt of the Church. Munsey was a great 
thinker and a great orator. He had already achieved 
national fame as a speaker, but I feel sure that this 
address was one of his best. It is almost impossible to 
give an exaggerated estimate of his eloquence and pa- 
thos on this occasion. 

The following resolution in regard to the Ambris- 
ter fund was adopted : 

Resolved, That the trustees of the Ambrister fund proceed 
to sell the house and lot referred to in their report on such 
terms as they may think best, and also to take such steps to 
collect or secure the Atlee note as they may deem best, and 
report to the next session of the Conference. 

The Committee on Church Property reported 356 
churches, 35 camp grounds, 21 parsonages, 46 church- 
es and 3 parsonages held by the Methodist Episcopal 
Church ; value of churches held by that Church, $52,- 
500 ; value of parsonages held by it, $2,900 ; total val- 
ue of Church property, $384,800; value of college 
property, $536,800. The figures show that the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church claimed and held thirty-eight 
churches in the Jonesboro and Knoxville Districts and 
only eight in all the other districts. The three parson- 
ages claimed by them were in the Jonesboro District. 
They held none of our churches and parsonages in the 
Wytheville, Pearisburg, Abingdon, Asheville, and 
Franklin Districts. The only churches and parson- 
ages held by them were in East Tennessee. 

The following resolution was adopted : 


That the Conference appoint a committee of five, three 
clerical and two lay members, to visit the Holston Conference 
of the M. E. Church, soon to convene in Jonesboro, and to 
present to that body in a Christian spirit an earnest request 
from this Conference to relinquish to us aU our Church prop- 
erty which they now hold and from which our ministers are 
now excluded, most of which property is set forth in the fore- 
going report. 

The committee appointed under this resolution con- 
sisted of E. E. Wiley, B. Arbogast, R. N. Price, F. W. 
Earnest, and E. C. Reeves. 

The Holston Conference, Methodist Episcopal 
Church, met in Jonesboro, Tenn., October 7 and con- 
tinued in session until the nth, Bishop Simpson Pres- 
ident, and John F. Spence Secretary. Prof. Edmund 
Longley, though not a member of the committee of the 
Conference, South, was introduced and presented the 
memorial of the Conference. A committee of five was 
then appointed to confer with the committee of the 
Conference, South, and consisted of Dr. N. E. Cob- 
leigh, F. M. Fanning, J. B. Little, J. A. Hyden, and 
J. R. Eads. On the last day of the session the report 
of this committee was read to the Conference by Dr. 
Cobleigh, and. it was adopted. 

The joint session of the two committees was very 
pleasant and harmonious. The committee, South, pre- 
sented their demands in writing ; the committee (North) 
agreed to those demands, promised to make a report 
to their Conference recommending compliance with 
them, and requested our committee to remain to be 
present in the Conference when the report was read, 
and to aid by their presence in securing an adoption 
of the report. The committee was present, expecting 

CONFERENCE OF 1869. 487 

to hear a report recommending a compliance with 
their demands, but were surprised and mortified to 
hear quite a different report, and felt that they had 
been dealt with treacherously. 

At the Conference of 1870 Dr. Wiley made only a 
verbal report of the negotiations. It was unfortunate 
that a written report was not made and recorded. But 
the committee, South, furnished an elaborate report of 
the case for publication in the Nashville Christian Ad- 
vocate; and through the courtesy of the Rev. B. M. 
Martin, Secretary of the Holston Conference (North), 
and of Dr. Denny, of Vanderbilt University, I have 
been able to procure copies of both reports, and they 
will appear in full in the next chapter. 

The finance report showed that the claims of the 
preachers during the year amounted to $38,424.35; 
receipts, $27,503.63 ; deficit, $10,920.72. Collected for 
the bishops, $575; distributed among Conference 
claimants, $787.46. 

The report on education showed that one hundred 
and eighty-nine students had attended Emory and Hen- 
ry College during the year — sixty-eight from Virginia ; 
thirty-two from Tennessee; seven from North Caro- 
lina; about forty from Alabama; nine from Georgia; 
three from Texas; two from Kentucky; five from the 
Indian nations ; six from Louisiana ; and one from each 
of the States of Mississippi, Florida, Illinois, and Mis- 
souri. The items do not make up the aggregate. 

The report stated that ninety-two students had at- 
tended the Holston Conference Female College dur- 
ing the year, and that in order to prevent the school 


from passing beyond the control of its friends it had 
been taken charge of by a joint-stock company. 

Martha Washington College was reported as stead- 
ily advancing in prosperity. It had paid its expenses 
during the year, made some improvements on the 
buildings, and given nearly five hundred dollars in 
tuition to the daughters of ministers. 

The agent, Mr. Wilkinson, had raised during the 
year a subscription of $8,000 toward paying the debt 
of the institution, conditioned on ■ the subscription of 
twenty thousand dollars. 

The recapitulation of the Sunday School report 
showed 298 schools, 2,213 officers and teachers, 15,741 
scholars, and 20,782 volumes in library. 

A resolution was offered by Dr. Cunnyngham and 
adopted requesting all the preachers in charge to or- 
ganize juvenile missionary societies in their Sunday 
schools, and during the month of December to take 
up a collection in every congregation to aid in paying 
off the missionary debt. 

Collected for domestic missions $2,092 96 

Collected for foreign missions 598 04 

Total $2,691 00 

Admitted on trial : Joseph L. McGee, James R. Handy, 
Erastus H. Bogle, George D. French, Timothy P. Darr, Pat- 
ton J. Lockhart, E. Embree Hoss, James K. P. Ball, Isaac R. 
Ellis, Robert H. Frist, Edward W. Marsh. 

Readmitted: Thomas J. Pope, James T. Smith, William C. 

Received by transfer : James Atkins, . from the Baltimore 
Conference; William H. Barnes, from the North Carolina 
Conference; Alexander Doniphan, from the Methodist Prot- 
estant Church. 

CONFERENCE OF 1869. 4&9 

Located : W. H. Moody, M. A. Davidson, W. M. Kerr. 

Superannuated: John Reynolds, Joseph Haskew, Timothy 
Sullins, Wiley B. Winton, Thomas K. Munsey, Samuel B. 

Numbers in society: White, 29,728; colored, 272. Total, 
30,000. Increase, 3,573- 

Local preachers, 239; traveling preachers, 118. 

William M. Kerr afterwards returned to the Con- 
ference. He had become so fleshy that he attended to 
the duties of circuit preacher with considerable incon- 
venience. He at once devoted himself to farm work 
and manual labor, which cut down his obesity by some- 
thing like fifty pounds, so that he was later able to take 
up regular work again. 

It was during the year just closed that Jacob Smith 
was so viciously persecuted and violently assaulted in 
the interest of loyal Methodism. The truth of history 
requires me to introduce in this work this most pain- 
ful and disgraceful episode. 

Jacob Smith was born in Wythe County, Va., Octo- 
ber 20, 1835. He joined the Church February 16, 
1 851'; and two days later, under the preaching of Wi- 
,ley B. Winton and Carroll Long at Mt. Pleasant, on 
the Wytheville Circuit, he felt that God owned him for 
a child. He was licensed to preach at Kimberlin 
Camp Ground, in Bland County, Va., in 1857. He 
was admitted into the traveling connection at Greene- 
ville, Tenn., October 21, 1861, Bishop James O. Andrew 
presiding. He did faithful work on a number of 
circuits till 1874, when he was appointed book agent, 
or colporteur, of the Conference, in which position he 
remained till 1891, when he was given the superannu- 





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CONFERENCE OF 1 869. 49 1 

ate relation; and he holds this relation to the present 
'date (1910). 

As to his educational advantages : In his minority 
he attended school in the winter and labored in the 
summer. From childhood he attended Sunday school 
and read good books and the Church papers. He 
studied English grammar, arithmetic, and other pri- 
mary branches at nights and on rainy days. At the 
age of twenty he began to teach, paid his father for 
one year's time, and for six years alternated between 
teaching and going to school. He received the princi- 
pal part of his education at Fall Branch Seminary, 
Fall Branch, Tenn. 

Brother Smith was placed on the supernumerary 
roll at the Conference of 186/'. Sevierville and Little 
River Circuit was left to be supplied, and he was the 
supply. At the Conference of 1868 he returned to the 
effective roll, and was reappointed to that circuit, 
which embraced the county of Sevier, the eastern half 
of Blount County, and Seven Islands, in Knox Coun- 
ty. Since the war there had been no Southern Method- 
ist pastor there, nor was there any organized Southern 
Church in the bounds of the work except the class at 
Seven Islands. The preachers of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church were in the field, and they had confis- 
cated everything as far as they could. It was during 
Smith's first year on this circuit that Henry C. Neal 
was so cruelly beaten by the dirty tools of the so- 
called loyal Methodists on the Maryville and Louis- 
ville Circuit. A little more than a year after that Smith 
became the victim of a similar tragedy on the Sevier- 
ville and Little River Circuit, but in the same county. 


The medicine administered to Neal seemed to have 
worked like a charm. At the Conference of 1868 the 
Maryville and Louisville Circuit was left to be sup- 
plied, and, so far as I know, no supply was furnished; 
and it was hoped, perhaps, that a similar dose admin- 
istered to Smith might be equally effective. Mark 
you, it was four years after the close of the Civil War, 
but in the beautiful days of reconstruction and carpet- 
bag rule. I shall allow Brother Smith to tell the sad 
story of the abuse which he received: 

On Sunday, March 14, 1869, I had an appointment at Logan's 
Chapel, to which I went and found quite a crowd assembled; 
but as I drew near the door I was met by two men who, as 
I was afterwards informed, were Mr. William Godard and a 
Mr. Nimond. Mr. Godard asked me if I was the man who 
had an appointment to preach there that day. I told him that 
I was. Said he : "You can't preach here." I asked him why. 
He repeated: "You can't preach here." I replied: "The Bible 
teaches me that I ought to obey God rather than man." He 
then said: "You can't preach in this house." Said I: "All 
right; I will find a position somewhere else." I then walked 
round under the shed, stepped up on the stand, got out my 
Bible and hymn book, and commenced singing. The congre- 
gation was being seated when in came four or five men and 
stepped on the stand where I was. One of them, who, as I 
was informed, was Elias Godard, had a weapon in his hand. 
He said : "Mr. Smith, you can't preach here ; and you'd better 
get out, and do it quick, or you'll get hurt." I wanted to 
reason with him, but he said that he did not come there to de- 
bate with me, but for me to get out of there. Another said: 
"Put him out." I saw that mischief was intended, and to pre- 
vent any further difficulty I concluded to surrender the posi- 
tion, and I told them that I could preach out in the road or in 
the grove. Accordingly I went out and spoke to two or three 
men about a place to preach at, and they pointed out a place 
about two hundred yards from the church, to which I repaired, 

CONFERENCE OF 1869. 493 

and was followed by a part of the congregation, to whom I 
tried to preach. 

Having been previously invited to preach at the schoolhouse 
near Mr. Brakebill's, I announced that, no preventing provi- 
dence, I would preach there on Sabbath, the .25th of April, 
at eleven o'clock. I reached that community again two or 
three days before my appointment, and visited several families ; 
and on Saturday, the 24th, I went up to a Presbyterian church 
four or five miles above Mr. Alex. Kennedy's and heard the 
Rev. Mr. Brown preach. After preaching. I went down to 
Mrs. Huston's and stayed all night. 

On Sunday morning I set out by myself for my appoint- 
ment. When within about two miles of Brakebill's school- 
house, I overtook an old gentleman who was walking, a 
stranger to me, who joined me in conversation. With him 
I rode along slowly about half a mile, mostly through the 
woods, and just as we had got through the woods and started 
down a lane I heard the clatter of horses' feet behind me. I 
partially turned my head, and saw two or three men. The old 
gentleman, looking back about the same time, said that they 
were Mr. Kennedy's sons. I paid no more attention to them until 
they were by my side, when they began to curse me and ordered 
me to dismount. Having pistols and clubs in their hands, some 
of them dismounted and commenced striking at my horse's 
head, and finally knocked him down. He fell a hard fall, as 
also did his rider; and as I lay on the ground two or three 
of them came up and beat me on the head with their pistols 
and clubs, knocking me back to the ground as I attempted to 
rise. I finally arose; but they kept on beating me for some 
time after I had risen, during which time I supported myself 
by taking hold of and leaning against the fence. They then 
ordered me to pull off my pistols. I told them that I had 
none. They swore that I was a liar, and said that Mr. Jen- 
nings had told them that I had two belted around me when I 
was at his house. Said I: "Surely Mr. Jennings never told 
you any such thing." They reasserted that he had. They 
then examined my person, my pockets and saddlebags, but 
found no pistols. They then put my saddlebags on one of 


their horses and one of them led my horse, and with their 
pistols in their hands they marched me back on foot. I did 
not walk fast enough for them; they kept hurrying me up. 
After having gone about two hundred yards, they ordered me 
to get on my horse; but in the fall when they knocked my 
horse down the stirrup by which I was accustomed to mount 
got broken and lost, so that it was with difficulty that I 
climbed up by the leather. One of them ran up and kicked 
me and swore that he would help me on. After I was on 
they commenced withing my horse to make him go faster, 
but I reined him up; then they beat me over the right hand 
to make me give up the rein. They then commenced withing 
me around the shoulders, saying it would have a better effect 
than to whip the horse. One of them said: "That is a fine 
horse which he has stolen from some good Union man or 
some of his rebel friends stole for him." Once in a while 
one of them would strike me on the head, till finally he 
knocked off my hat. Then they stopped and said that that 
was as good a place as any. They got down and jerked me 
off of my horse, caught my overcoat by the collar, and jerked 
it off, tearing the lining well-nigh out; in like manner they 
jerked off my dress coat and vest, and commenced pulling 
off my shirt, when Elias Goda'rd said that there was no need 
of that. Then two of them commenced beating me with their 
clubs, and they beat me till I fell and after I was down, until 
they had well-nigh worn out their clubs. They then told me 
that I had to promise never to preach in the county again and 
never to come into the county. I told them that I never could 
make any such promise. They swore that they would make 
me do it, and went and cut another withe and repeated that 
I had to promise. I said "No," and said that if it was the 
will of the Lord and of the people I expected to preach. One 
of them said, "It is not the will of the Lord," and wanted to 
know if I would take them for the people. I replied: "I 
don't know who you are, whether you belong to this com- 
munity or not." Then Mr. Elias Godard told them not to 
beat me any more, remarking: "He is stubborn, and you can't 
get anything out of him. Let him alone, and we will see 

CONFERENCE OF 1 869. 495 

whether he comes back or not. If he does, it will go worse 
with him, and his friends will suffer ; they are more to blame 
than he is." As the last ones rode away one of them asked 
me very contemptuously if I thought that that old pine stump 
would die. They referred to the stump by which I fell while 
they were beating me. I replied : "It is already dead." 

I shall offer no apology for quoting freely from the 
Press and Messenger, a daily newspaper of Knoxville, 
in relation to this tragedy. The comments of this pa- 
per not only record history, but they are a part of the 
history of the times. The editor of this paper at that 
time was Col. John M. Fleming, an accomplished writ- 
er. His comments will have the greater influence with 
the reader when he learns that Col. Fleming was one 
of the men that set themselves resolutely against the 
secession movement, and that he was a consistent Un- 
ion man during the war. He was a conservative Union 
man, who, after the war was at an end and the Un- 
ion had been restored, used his influence to protect 
his neighbors and fellow countrymen of the opposite 
faith from personal abuse by the scallawag element of 
the Union party. In his paper he had called attention 
to the Logan's Chapel mob of March 14, 1869. On 
the mob of April 25 Colonel Fleming commented as 
follows : 

We are called upon to record another of those damnable 
atrocities that disgrace, our civilization and put our Chris- 
tianity to the blush — deeds which illustrate the more than 
savage barbarity of civilized men, inspired by the devilish 
teachings of priestly knaves, who, in the prosecution of their 
own wicked villainies, hesitate not to encourage the applica- 
tion of the lash and cudgel, and if necessary the knife and 
the bullet, to unoffending ministers of the gospel who prefer 


preaching the word of God to practicing the Satanic arts of 
a political and plundering priesthood. 

It will be remembered by our readers that in February, 
1868, Rev. Henry C. Neal, a devoted young minister of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, while faithfully pursuing 
his calling and endeavoring to do his Master's service, was 
cruelly set upon by an armed mob of ruffians in Blount County, 
stripped, tied to a tree, and mercilessly beaten with hickory 
withes until his blood flowed down upon the ground. The of- 
fense of Mr. Neal was that he did not heed the "warnings" 
given to him under the authority of the leagues that he would 
not be permitted to preach the gospel in that county. The 
shocking details of that outrage are yet fresh in the memories 
of our readers. Of the men who participated in it we know 
of none that have been brought to punishment except such as 
an avenging God has visited upon them. 

Mr. Neal's successor in that field of labor is Rev. Jacob 
Smith, a modest though zealous and faithful ambassador of 
Christ. About the middle of last month (March) the savage 
spirit of intolerance and persecution broke loose against him; 
and he was driven from his house of worship, where his con- 
gregation had gathered on the Sabbath day to hear him. An 
account of this disgraceful affair was published by us at the 
time, but was not so well or so touchingly related by us as 
it is in the following Christian letter written by himself soon 
afterwards to a ministerial brother in this city which we have 
requested permission to lay before the world in our columns : 

"Sevierville, March 18, 1869. 
"Dear Brother Bates: I am at my post; am having quite 
an interesting time. Can't say that all is quiet at present. 
Had a high day at Logan's Chapel last Sabbath. The world, 
the flesh, and the devil were there. The mob met me at the 
door and told me that I could not preach there. I replied that 
my Bible taught me that I ought to obey God rather than man. 
They then said that I could not preach in that house. Said 
I, 'All right, I will find a position somewhere else,' and went 
into the shed and commenced singing with my Bible and my 
hymn book in my hand. The congregation were being seated 

CONFERENCE OF 1869. 497 

rapidly, when in came' the mob, headed by one Godard, with 
a spear in his hand, who told me that I could not preach there. 
I undertook to reason the case with them. They told me 
they did not come there to debate ; for me to get out of there at 
once, or I would be hurt. They said that they had had Jefferson 
Davis's gospel there eight or ten years ago. I heard two men 
quarreling back of the shed. I told them that I intended to 
preach; and if I could not preach there, I would go out into 
the road or woods. They told me to get out of there, and 
do it quick. I saw there was likely to be a general row, and 
I thought it best to try another place. So I went out into 
the grove, about a hundred yards from the church, followed 
by a very respectable congregation, where I preached. 

"There are other things connected with the affair which 
I would like to relate, but my space will not admit. Suffice 
it to say, I have another house offered me. I found plenty of 
friends there, and we expect a quarterly meeting there this 
year; but more at some other time. I met my appointment at 
Trundle's Crossroads, found the door locked fast and tight and 
the windows all nailed down, a very cold day, and nearly all 
the negroes in the country there, sent out on purpose; but I 
took advantage of the occasion and subdued them with the 
sword of the Spirit and the power of prayer. If I ever prayed 
in my life, it was there in the cold March winds. That is a 
hard point, but I expect to try it again. 

"The prospect on my work generally is better than at any 
former period. I expect through Jesus to triumph gloriously. 

"In hope of eternal life, your brother in Christ, 

Jacob Smith." 

The Christian spirit of charity and forgiveness which this 
letter breathe's and which is characteristic of its author is 
enough, we would think, to touch a heart of stone and soften 
the ferocity of a veritable savage. But not so the "patriotic" 
and "Christian" loyal leaguers and regulators of morality in 

On last Sunday, the 25th inst., Mr. Smith had another ap- 
pointment to preach to his congregation at Mr. Peter Brake- 
bill's schoolhouse, on Little River, two and a half miles from 

3 2 


Logan's Chapel (the scene of the former mob) and about ten 
miles from KJioxville. As we learn the facts from persons 
living in the vicinity and some of whom were eye-witnesses 
of part of the transaction, as Mr. Smith was approaching his 
place for preaching on horseback he was met by a mob, most 
of them armed, who assaulted him in a most brutal manner, 
accompanying their demonstration with ruffianly oaths and 
threats against his life. . . . The party first attacked the 
horse, which they knocked down once or twice with clubs. 
They then assaulted Mr. Smith, beating him over the head and 
body with clubs and the butt ends of their pistols, offering to 
him in the meantime the grossest indignitjes. Becoming fearful 
of discovery, they then took him back about half a mile into 
the woods; and having compelled him to dismount, they 
stripped him to his shirt and .proceeded to beat him with clubs 
and switches until he was well-nigh exhausted. Some per- 
sons happening to pass by, hearing and seeing what was going 
on, hastened to the schoolhouse, where the congregation was 
gathered, and made report of the outrage. A squad of citi- 
zens started immediately to his relief, but did not arrive in 
time to overtake the ruffians. They met Mr. Smith in the 
road near the place where he had been cruelly beaten. He 
was quite faint, and bore many marks of his savage treatment. 
Notwithstanding his feeble condition, he insisted on being con- 
ducted to his appointed place for preaching. He and his 
friends proceeded to the schoolhouse; and though suffering 
greatly with his wounds and bruises, he preached his in- 
tended sermon on "The Immortality of the Soul," without 
referring in his discourse to the outrage from which he had 
just escaped. He became too faint to finish entirely his ser- 
mon, but gave way, calling upon a Church brother to con- 
clude the exercises with prayer. He had to be assisted from 
the stand to a neighboring house. Where the robbers went 
to after finishing their beating our informants do not state, 
but they were evidently satisfied that Mr. Smith would not be 
able to fill his appointment. Finding, however, that he had 
preached to his congregation, they were highly incensed, and 
with additional recruits (among them the former sheriff of the 

CONFERENCE OF 1869. 499 

county) went to the house of Alexander Kennedy, Sr., who 
had assisted Mr. Smith in his religious exercises, and with 
oaths and threatenings of vengeance told him that they had 
resolved that Mr. Smith must not attempt to preach in that 
county any more ; that the loyal people intended to have things 
their own way now, and that there had been enough "rebel" 
preaching there to suit the loyal people. 

We give these facts as reported to us by as reliable men 
as live in Blount County. There may be slight inaccuracies 
in the minor details; but the main facts, we are assured, are 
hardly stated in the fullness of their damning truth. 

We are promised further particulars to-morrow. Mean- 
while we refer to the subject elsewhere. 

In the same issue in which the above appeared (that 
of April 28) the following editorial appeared: 

The blood of every man whose nature has at all yielded to 
the refining and elevating influences of Christianity will boil 
with indignation as he reads the details of the reported hor- 
ror recorded elsewhere in our columns this morning. A de- 
vout, humble, and inoffensive minister of the gospel of Christ 
— a man whose Christian excellencies of character are well 
becoming his holy profession, whose mission under the sanc- 
tion of his Church and the authority of his God would have 
been sufficient in other climes to disarm even the savage of 
his ferocity and awe him into reverence — has been again 
cruelly mobbed and bruised and beaten with many stripes on 
the Sabbath day almost within hearing of the church bells of 

The swift recurrence of this outrage in our very midst, 
coupled with the threats of the perpetrators that its repeti- 
tion may be daily looked for, is well calculated to shock and 
to startle a people who have been educated to revere a God 
and to respect his ministry. We have become somewhat in- 
different to crime and to deeds of cruelty of late years; but 
even the war, with all its demoralizing influences, had not pre- 
pared our community to receive without a shudder of horror 
the intelligence of such acts of barbarism and savage cruelty 


as the civilization (?) of Blount County seems capable of 

The mind of every reader will naturally inquire: What 
has inspired this devilish spirit of intolerance and wicked per- 
secution of a branch of the Christian Church? It is not the 
result of a lifelong education with these men. Their fathers 
before them taught them no such acts of cruelty and bar- 
barism. Sectarian bigotry and exclusiveness in former days 
wrought their mischief in East Tennessee as elsewhere; but 
sectarianism here in its days of worst intolerance never 
prompted the use of the cudgel, the stone, or the lash. But 
in this case there was no room for sectarianism. The doc- 
trines held and preached by the victim of this cruel persecution 
differ in no respect from those which the instigators and per- 
petrators of the villainies profess. 

Religious bigotry has shed rivers of blood in its day, but 
it. is not responsible for this outrage. Paganism persecutes 
the Christian missionary with the sword and the torture, but 
the scene of this persecution is in a Christian community . . 

Colonel Fleming, in the Press and Messenger, bears 
the following testimony as to the physical condition 
of Brother Smith after his terrible scourging : 

Rev. Jacob Smith, who was so cruelly mobbed and beaten 
in Blount County, is at present in the city. We had the pain- 
ful satisfaction on Tuesday of seeing his wounds. His head 
is badly bruised all over by blows from cudgels. His right 
arm is nearly entirely disabled, and his hip is so badly bruised 
that it is with difficulty he can walk. His back and arms pre- 
sent a horrible appearance. The skin was not cut, the withes 
being too large to make incisions ; but the bruises upon his 
person are frightful and sickening to look upon. From the 
top of his shoulders to his waist the flesh presents a livid ap- 
pearance and indicates a most severe beating. The wounds 
are still painful, though the sufferer bears himself with resig- 

Mr. Smith gave us full particulars of the affair, which we 
will give more at length to-morrow. We will say, however, 


that in the main the account published by us is correct. In 
one particular, however, our informants were mistaken. The 
mobbers were all white men. Mr. Smith says that there were 
no negroes concerned in it. He saw several negroes in the 
vicinity, but they treated him with great kindness and courtesy. 

The following brief notice of the outrage appeared 
in the Knoxville Whig, edited at that time by the Rev. 
Thomas H. Pearne, D.D., of the Holston Conference, 
Methodist Episcopal Church: 


From A. Kennedy, Esq., we learn that the Rev. Mr. Smith, 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was waylaid on 
Sunday in Blount County, some nine or ten miles south of 
Knoxville, by a large crowd of persons and taken from his 
horse and severely whipped. We regret all such acts as un- 
lawful and injurious to the welfare of society. We have never 
held nor expressed but one opinion on this subject. It was 
all wrong, done by whomsoever it may be. It is confession 
of the weakness of a cause ; for it is equivalent to an admission 
that the cause in behalf of which it is invoked cannot stand 
upon moral principles and fair arguments, and that it needs the 
support of physical force. Might never makes a thing right 
which is not right without it." We hope this is the last in- 
stance of the kind we shall have to chronicle in East Ten- 

There is such a thing as danining with faint praise, 
and there is such a thing as excusing with faint cen- 
sure. This is a case of the latter, and of it the Press 
and Messenger has the following criticism : 

Reprehensible indeed ! Not a single demand for punish- 
ment nor a word of sympathy for the victim! If it be con- 
fessed that your case "cannot stand upon moral principles," 
why not abandon it? Why continue by "physical force" to 
hjold the property of a Church that does not belong to you? 


The editor does well in even faintly denouncing this outrage, 
but the perpetrators themselves will no doubt feel that their 
prophet has deserted them. 

In the Press and Messenger of May 5 there appeared 
the following editorial, headed "The Blount County 
Outrages :" 

No event has occurred for years in our midst that has so 
deeply excited the community as the recent atrocities per- 
petrated by the loyal" leaguers in Blount County. Not only 
here in East Tennessee have they shocked the moral and so- 
cial sense of every class of respectable citizens, but from all 
quarters where the intelligence has yet reached come words 
of hot and burning denunciation. We have endeavored to 
lay before our readers a statement of the facts connected 
with the cruel beating of Rev. Mr. Smith, and a thorough in- 
vestigation has convinced us that if we have failed at all our 
failure has been in not sufficiently portraying the cowardly 
brutality of the wretches who were prominent in its perpe- 
tration and instigation. We have pointed out, especially in 
our article of the 29th ult., the original source and prime mov- 
ing cause of this inhuman persecution and villainy. 

Hoping at first to divert public attention from himself, Dr. 
Pearne very mildly and very reluctantly, under the pressure of 
a solemn personal appeal made to him by a worthy citizen of 
Blount County, "reprehended" the beating of Mr. Smith. We 
knew he was insincere even in this, and we so charged, es- 
pecially after learning what he had said in reference to the 
affair before noticing it at all in his paper. He impudently 
denied having had any such conversation as represented by 
us, and with frozen effrontery characterized our statement as 
false. Mr. Kennedy, the gentleman referred to, has volun- 
tarily favored us with the following statement : 

"Knoxville, April 30, 1869. 

"John M. Fleming, Esq.: I have read carefully your article 
in the Press and Messenger of the 29th inst. in reference to the 
recent whipping of Rev. Jacob Smith in Blount County. In 

CONFERENCE OF 1 869. 503 

so far as that article represents a conversation between T. H. 
Pearne, the editor of the Whig, and myself on the subject, 
the article is strictly correct and gives the facts as accurately 
as I could have done with my own hand! I told Pearne this 
in a conversation I had with him on the street on Thursday. 

A. Kennedy, Sr." 

In this issue of Friday he even goes so far as to apologize 
for having characterized the affair as "reprehensible" at all 
and to offer some mitigation for the offense of Mr. Kennedy 
in giving him information concerning it. He says : "From 
the doubt which Mr. Greer's statement compels in regard to 
some of the material allegations we are almost ready to con- 
clude that the whole affair may have been cooked up for a 
grand sensation. We hope that the rebels did not whip Mr. 
Smith, if indeed he was whipped at all, which now seems to 
admit of a question, mauger the statements of our contem- 
porary to the contrary." 

Pearne himself went from Knoxville to Maryville the day 
before the meeting took place, and returned the same evening. 
What pretense of business he had on that trip just at that 
favorable time we do not know. 

But it had been known for four weeks or more that Mr. 
Smith would preach on that particular Sunday at Brakebill's 
schoolhouse. What was Pearne doing at Maryville that Satur- 
day, just the day before the whipping? Why did he tarry 
so short a time? With whom was he in counsel, and what 
pious suggestions did he make for the morrow's work? Why 
did he not stay all night and preach for his brethren the next 
day? As a matter of course, Pearne's fellow travelers on the 
train attached no unusual importance to his flying visit. As 
a matter of course, he can now solemnly affirm that he had 
no intimations of mischief, and the mobbers themselves will 
be as ready to certify for him as they are to swear that Smith 
was not beaten at all. 

We have before imperfectly described the wounds of Mr. 
Smith. On Friday his friends requested Drs. Boyd and Put- 


nam, in company with several other gentlemen, to make an 
inspection of his back. They did so, and here is their state- 
ment : 

"Knoxville, April 30, 1869. 

"We were to-day called from the street with the request to 
examine the condition of Rev. Jacob Smith. With slight as- 
sistance he was enabled to remove his clothing and exhibit his 
back. We found that about one-third of the surface of the 
back was discolored and all the surface of the back of the right 
arm from the shoulder to the elbow. The discoloration was 
in stripes, as though made by the strokes of rods or withes 
of the breadth of half an inch or more. He stated that the 
bruises had existed since last Sunday, five days. They must 
have presented soon after they were made a much more angry 
appearance than now. John M. Boyd, 

A. C. Putnam." 

Messrs. John Jones, G. M. Branner, A. J. Albers, John E. 
Helms, W. A. Henderson, and others were present and wit- 
nessed the shocking spectacle. The Maryville Republican 
does not pretend to imitate the mendacity of Pearne, but ad- 
mits the commission of the outrage, innocently remarking: 
"We deprecate this affair as injurious to our party interests." 

When a venerable citizen of Blount County went to him to 
invoke the aid of his paper in promoting the peace and secur- 
ing protection to himself and others in his county by de- 
nouncing the whipping of Mr. Smith, Pearne replied that he 
had done that once before and "had gained a good deal of ill 
will by it." Upon a repetition of the request, more earnestly 
and beseechingly made, he said he would "think about it," or 
words to that effect; and such is the alacrity with which he 
denounces the whipping of Southern preachers. 

The Press and Messenger of May 26, under the 
headlines, "On the Warpath— The Loyal Kuklux of 
Blount County — 250 Armed Loyalists Hunting a Min- 
ister of the Gospel," said : 

CONFERENCE OF 1869. 505 

It will be remembered by our readers, and indeed the peo- 
ple of the entire country remember the affair with a feeling of 
horror and detestation, that about one month ago Rev. Jacob 
Smith, while on his way to fill an appointment in Blount 
County, was seized by armed ruffians composing the leaders 
of the league and the radical party of that county, taken to 
the woods, stripped to his shirt, tied to a tree, and whipped 
unmercifully with withes until his back and shoulders were a 
mass of blood and quivering flesh. No reason existed for this 
barbarous action. Mr. Smith was unknown in that locality 
until after the close of the war. During the civil strife he 
preached to both armies "Christ and him crucified." He be- 
lieved not in carnal weapons even while in the midst of bloody 
strife. He never carried a. pistol or any other weapon. His 
preaching was preeminently the gospel of peace. He bears 
the imprint of the Almighty on his calm, serious, guiltless face 
as "a man unspotted from the world." 

The vindictive and Satanic teachings of Tennessee radical- 
ism bore their bitter fruit in the martyrdom of this man of 

As the time approached when Mr. Smith had another ap- 
pointment to fill in that county he received evidence and in- 
formation, the most trustworthy and reliable, that the loyalists 
of the county were laying their plans to prevent his preaching, 
and many of them were loudly asserting "that this time we 
will make an end of it." 

Not only this, 'but he has learned that his friends in the 
county, the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, were being ill treated and threatened, and that an at- 
tempt by him to preach there would result not only to his 
hurt but also to their injury. 

Influenced by- the desire not to involve any of the friends 
of his Church in trouble, and after consultation with his co- 
laborers in the ministry in this city, Mr. Smith resolved not 
to attempt to preach the gospel of Christ to these Pharisaical 
loyalists. How prudent was this resolve may be learned from 
the action of these loyal men, these simon-pure members of 
"the party of great moral ideas," on the holy Sabbath. 


Last Sunday morning, the day of Mr.^Smith's appointment 
at Logan's Chapel, in Blount County, fully two hundred and 
fifty of these loyalists, all well armed and under the leadership 
of the men who had previously whipped Mr. Smith, assembled 
in the vicinity of the chapel and boisterously disclosed their 
intention of preventing the religious exercises from taking 
place. The members of Mr. Smith's Church, aware of the im- 
pending trouble, did not go to the chapel ; and the ruffians, 
after waiting some time, determined not to allow their in- 
tentions to be baffled by the escape of their prey. Accordingly 
they sent squads out in search of the preacher, which visited 
every suspected house for miles around. 

Mr. Smith, however, was quietly attending worship in 
Knoxville; and toward noon his persecutors dispersed, elated 
with the knowledge that they had prevented the preaching of 
the word of God. 

These same men are now plotting to prevent by armed force 
the fulfillment of Mr. Smith's appointment next Sabbath at 
Louisville, in the same county. Of course they will be suc- 
cessful, as there are no officers in the county who dare do right 
and arrest these violators of law. Rather do they mix them- 
selves with the wicked perpetrators of cowardly attacks on 
an unarmed man. 

I may have given too much space to this case of 
persecution and to the denunciatory articles of the 
Press and Messenger. But I believe that they em- 
bodied the sentiment of the better element of East 
Tennessee society of all parties at that time. The cases 
of Neal and Smith did much to atone for the ecclesi- 
astical outrages of the Holston Conference, South, 
committed during the war; much to open the eyes of 
the general public to the animus and designs of the 
second army of invasion, the ecclesiastical invasion, 
and to turn back the tide of popular feeling toward 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 

CONFERENCE OF 1869. 507 

It is some apology for Dr. Pearne that the hatreds 
of the Civil War had not yet subsided; that he and 
the worst element of his associates were living under 
the delusion that when the Northern States conquered 
the Southern States the Methodist Episcopal Church 
conquered the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and 
that the adage "to the victors belong the spoils" was 
still in force. 

The statement of Brother Smith given above was 
his statement on the witness stand in court. The law- 
yers of Knoxville became wonderfully interested in 
the case, and a number of them voluntarily offered 
him their services. They wished to see whether the law 
afforded any protection to the people. Judge Baxter, 
Judge Brown, Col. John M. Fleming, Mr. Cornick, 
and others took up the cudgel for Smith, while Cald- 
well and Houk et al. defended the whippers. One of 
the attorneys of the defense proposed to Mr. Smith to 
pay him a thousand dollars on a compromise, but he 
preferred to let the law take its course. The case was 
tried in the Federal court. How did that happen ? To 
protect Northern adventurers in the South, Congress 
had enacted a law allowing men residing in one State 
but holding their citizenship in another to carry their 
cases into the Federal courts. This law might have 
been entitled "An act to protect carpet-baggers." 
Brother Smith, being a citizen of the State of Virginia, 
took advantage of this law. 

From Brother Smith's diary I quote the following 
sentences : 

Feb. 8, 187 1. — The big suit came up before a partisan judge 
and a corrupt jury. Gave testimony for the first time in my 


life. Heard men swear what I knew to be false. God pity 
them ! 

Feb. 9, 1871. — In Knoxville still. ' About twelve o'clock 
the jury reported, rendering a verdict against four of the 
most irresponsible of the party for $1,800. 

Brother Smith's recollection is that judgment was 
given against four men who were financially irrespon- 
sible — namely, James Alexander, James Brown, Tom 
Clemens, and Mitchel Davis — as also against three of 
the young Godards. 

Others were indicted in Blount County, but the 
cases were put off from time to time on a pretense of 
the absence of witnesses, and finally dismissed. The 
men in power made common cause with the criminals 
because they were as corrupt as the criminals them- 

In Smith's testimony William and Elias Godard are 
named. The former was the father of the latter. Alex 
Kennedy's sons had nothing to do with the whipping. 
The Kennedys were Smith's friends. Logan's Chapel 
was a' camp ground, and the shed was adjacent to the 
church. The question by one of the miscreants, "Do 
you think that old pine stump will die?" evidently re- 
ferred to the rumor that the tree to which Neal was 
tied died soon after his whipping. 

Brother Smith was kindly treated on the Sevier and 
Knox Counties part of his work and at most places 
in Blount County. ' The Church in Sevierville was in 
1869 blessed with a gracious revival. With the ex- 
ception of Logan's Chapel and Brakebill's School- 
house, he continued on the circuit to the end of his 
pastoral term of two years. During the latter part of 
his pastorate he visited several families in the neigh- 

CONFERENCE OF 1869. 509 

borhood of where he was so brutally treated, and met 
with no molestation. A. withering public sentiment of 
condemnation and the terrible philippics of Col. John 
Fleming had awed the cowardly villains into silence 
and inactivity, if not into penitence. 

Bishop David Seth Doggett was born in Lancaster 
County, Va., January 24, 1810; and died at his home, 
in Richmond, Va., October 2j, 1880. 

He was educated for the law, but after his conver- 
sion he began to study for the ministry. He was ad- 
mitted into the Virginia Conference in 1829 and ap- 
pointed to the Roanoke Circuit, in North Carolina, as 
junior preacher, where he enjoyed unbounded popu- 
larity. The next year he was appointed in charge of 
Mattamuskeet Circuit, in the lowlands of North Caro- 
lina, the most undesirable appointment in the Confer- 
ence. He proceeded to his charge without protest or 
delay, and accomplished much good among the plain 
people of that swampy and mosquito-infested section. 
There is an adage which says that extremes meet ; and 
in February, 183 1, he was appointed to Petersburg Sta- 
tion, in Virginia, where he acquired a marvelous repu- 
tation. From that time to 1866 he preached in the 
principal charges of the Conference. In 1834 he was 
married to Miss Martha Ann Gwathmey, of Lynch- 
burg, with whom he lived to the day of his death. 

In 1850 he was appointed editor of the Southern 
Methodist Quarterly Review, and he continued in that 
position till 1858. His ripe scholarship and excellent 
literary taste eminently fitted him for this position. In 
1865, in connection with Dr. John E. Edwards, he be- 
gan the publication of the Episcopal Methodist at 


Richmond. At that time this was the only paper pub- 
lished in the interest of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, and it did brave work for the scat- 
tered and persecuted flock. This, position was re- 
signed on his election to the episcopacy. At the Gen- 
eral Conference of 1866 he was elected to the episco- 
pacy, and he made a capital bishop in every respect. 
As a presiding officer he was firm but patient and 
courteous. In his inquiries of the preachers he stressed 
the spiritual element more than any of the bishops. 
His manners in society were those of a well-bred gen- 
tleman. After his accession to the episcopal office he 
preached, if possible, with more power than ever ; and 
his force and eloquence as a pulpit orator remained 
unabated to the last of his public career. 

I was often in his company, and became very much 
attached to him. He spent several days at my house, 
and I found him much addicted to prayer. Much of 
the thunder of his pulpit power was forged in the 
closet. He was always serious, cheerful, and affable. 
While courtly in his manners, he had nothing of the 
haughty and supercilious. While passionately fond 
of wit and humor, he could not create the one nor per- 
petrate the other. He did say a witty thing once at 
my house, but it was provoked. At the table one day 
he said : "I would thank you for a little more of that 
sauce. It is very good." I handed him the dish, re- 
marking: "My wife sometimes makes a sauce of a 
different kind that I do not like as well as this." "Ah !" 
said he. "What kind of sauce is that?" I replied that 
it is called "domestic sauce." "Ah !" said he. "What 
are its ingredients?" I replied: "Its principal ingre- 


dient is slackjaw." "Ah!" said he. "That is not very 
palatable, but often quite wholesome." 

The Bishop was an orator of the first water. In 
rhetoric and elocution he was up to the best models of 
ancient and modern times. He was the Cicero of 
Southern Methodism, and his elegant periods were 
fraught with the life and power of the Holy Spirit. At 
a District Conference at Waynesville, N. C, the crowd 
on Sunday was so great that the Bishop preached out- 
doors. Many of the congregation could not get near- 
er the stand than some twenty-five or fifty yards. His 
subject was Ezekiel's vision of dry bones. He was 
preaching with great animation when a note was hand- 
ed him from some gentleman in a wagon some thirty 
or forty yards distant, who seemed to fear that in the 
effort to be heard the speaker might overstrain his 
voice and break down. The note read: "Don't speak 
too loud ; you can easily be heard by the whole crowd." 
That was a high day for that country. 

In the seventies Bishop Doggett held a District Con- 
ference at Dandridge and preached on Sunday morn- 
ing on "Prepare to meet thy God." He preached with 
so much power and directness and warned the sinner 
so earnestly that the audience was greatly moved and 
sinners greatly alarmed. The sermon at night was 
preached by a Holston preacher; and when penitents 
were called, numbers rushed to the altar. The meet- 
ing was continued two weeks by the pastor, and re- 
sulted in a fine revival and many -conversions. About 
that time the Bishop delivered the annual literary ad- 
dress at Emory and Henry College, and such was the 


grasp of thought and classic finish of the address that 
the people were delighted and astonished. 

One cause of the Bishop's elegant rhetoric was the 
fact that he had been accustomed to write and memo- 
rize his sermons. By this habit he had developed a 
ready and retentive memory, but he did not follow the 
text of his written discourses slavishly. He combined 
the correctness of written style with the animation of 
extempore delivery. 


(The figures denote the pages on 

Abuse of Holston preachers, 

Adams, David, 158. 
Adams, Stephen D., 158. 
Alexander, George W., 316. 
Alley, John, 72. 
Ambrister, will of George, 


Ambrister Fund, 453. 

American Sunday School Un- 
ion, 114. 

Anderson, Philip, 89. 

Arrest of peaceable citizens, 

Asheville, 131; growth of 
Methodism in, 134. 

Asheville Circuit, 160. 

Aston, Miss Anna, 137. 

Athens Female College, 212, 
263, 404, 431. 

Axley, James, 200. 

Baird, Zebulon and Beaden, 

Barr, George R., 484. 
Bascom College, 432. 
Bays, W. W., 135. 
Bird, Richard, 201. 
Boring, John, 454. 
Boring, Washington, 183. 
Bowman, John, 200, 315. 
Bowman, W. C, 436. 
Boyd, Dr. John M., 504. 
Bradley County, 75. 
Bridge Burners, 283. 
Brilhart, Jacob, 459. 
Brownlow, John B., 383. 
Broyles, Jacob F., 196. 
Buncombe County, 131. 
Burchfield, Joseph R., 192. 
Burnett, Jackson S., T2. 
Burnsville High School, 177. 


which subjects are introduced.) 

Callaham, O. B., 192. 

Callahan, G. W., 434. 

Campbell, Coleman, 426. 

Camp Grounds in Monroe 
County, Tenn., 152. 

Capers, Bishop William, 47. 

Capers and Paine elected 
bishops, 17. 

Carlisle, John M., 173. 

Carolina Female College, 114. 

Carter, Lewis, 154. 

Catlett, Thomas K, 447. 

Centenary College, 78. 

Champ Ferguson, 395. 

Chanceaulme, Edward W.. 

Chanceaulme, Mrs. Bettie, 
157. m 

Chaplains to the army, 303. 

Charlton, Charles Wellington, 
101, 421. 

Chattanooga, 226 ; churches 
of, 229. 

Cherokee and Catawba In- 
dians, 86. 

Cherokee Mission, 227. 

Cleveland, 75. 

Collins, Charles, D.D., 118; 
debate with Ross, 121. 

Colonization Society, 113. 

Confederate Christmas, 402. 

Conference files, 83. 

Convention of Union preach- 
ers, 353. 

Cooper, William H., 268. 

Cox, Alexander F., 192. 

Creamer, George, 240. 

Cross, William K., 182. 

Cummings, Anson W., 428. 

Cunningham, Oscar F., 67. 




Cunnyngham, W. G. E., 97, 
382; missionary to China, 

Currency, depreciated, 347- 

Daily, William G, 315. 

Davidson, Allen M., 132. 

Davidson, Theodore, 132. 

Delano, Lorenzo, 80. 

Disciplinary Trouble of 1853, 

Disintegration and absorp- 
tion, 478. 

District Conferences, plan 
adopted, 424. 

Ditzler, Jacob, 347. 

Doggett, Bishop David Seth, 
509; great sermon at 
Waynesville, N. G, 511. 

Doniphan, Alexander, 484. 

Douthit, Dr. Isaac, 473. 

Duggan, W. H. H., 351. 

Early, Bishop John, 214; 
reversed, 305. 

East Tennessee Agricultural 
and Mechanical Fair, 202. 

East Tennessee Female In- 
stitute, 41. 

Edmondson, Newton G, 179; 
great sermon, 180. 

Edwards, James S., 315. 

Emory and Henry College, 
203, 432, 454; chair of Bib- 
lical Literature, 238; first 
revival at, 251. 

Erwin, A. R., 189. 

Fanning, Francis M., 414. 
Farley, Francis Sr., 278. 
Ferguson, Champ, 395. 
Fifth and Sixth Restrictive 

Rules, 3. 
Financial plan, 221, 454. 
First General Conference of 

M. E._ Church, South, 15. 
First railroad train to Knox- 
' ville, 188. 
Fleming, David, 411. 

Fleming, Col. John, 411, 495. 
Forshee, Jesse, 171. 
Forshee, Joseph, 153. 
Foy, Miles, 99. 
Fraternity resolutions, 445. 
Fulton lost in the mountains, 

Gaines, Mrs. Mary Moore, 

Gannaway Fund, 453. 
Gannaway, Robertson, 241 ; 

hie bequest, 237. 
Gannaway, Mrs. Sallie, 255. 
Gass, Andrew, 240. 
Gibson, John D., 43. 
Gillenwaters, E. E., 239. 
Godbey, Crockett, 268. 
Goodykoontz, A. M., 233. 
Graves, W. G, 93, 412. 
Gray, George Thomas, 480. 
Green, George W. K., 268. 

Hamilton County, 225. 

Hamilton, Dr. Jefferson, 204. 

Harris, Alexander Nelson, 30. 

Harris, William A., 437. 

Hart, bequest of Mrs., 223. 

Harwell, Samuel B., 484. 

Historical Society, 424. 

History of the Conference, 
resolution looking to, 70. 

Hiwassee College, Brunner 
appointed to, 147; history 
of, 149. 

Hobbs, Nathan, 295. 

Hoge, John H., 74. 

Holston Christian Advocate 
merged into Nashville. 
Christian Advocate, 175. 

Holston Conference Female 
College, 91, 431 ; deed to 
land of, 116; prospering in 
1856, 203; revival in, 260. 

Holston Conference incor- 
porated, 427, 444. 

Holston Conference, M. E. 
Church, organized, 392 ; 
appointments of, 39 2 - 



Holston Conference reverses 

itself in 1865, 405. 
Holston Conference sessions: 

1845, 18; 1846, 37; 1847,49; 

1848, 61 ; 1849, 70 ; 1850, 

83; 185 1, 91; 1852, 113;' 

1853, 146; 1854, 173; 185S; 

189; 1856, 202; 1857, 207; 

1858, 220; 1859, 234; i860, 

262; 1861, 264; 1862, 299; 

1863, 341; 1864, 361; 1865, 

400; 1866, 421; 1867, 442; 

1868, 452; 1869, 483- 
Holston Journal, 313, 348, 421. 
Hopkinsian controversy, 23. 
Hoyl, John, 69. 
Hunter, Andrew G, 99, 270. 
Hutsell, Eli K., 124; great 

revival conducted by, 126. 
Hyden, Jesse A., 367. 
Hynds, Judge Robert Henry, 

Hynds, Mrs., 195. 

Indian Mission School, 95. 

Indorsement of Plan of Sep- 
aration in the South, 10. 

Instrumental music in church- 
es condemned, 21. 

Jackson, George W., 479. 
Johnson, Hugh, 190. 
Johnson, Miss Mattie, 138. 
Juvenile Missionary Societies, 

Keith, John H., 240. 

Kelley, John M., 205. 

Kennedy, A. Sr., 503. 

Kennedy Fund, 147. 

Kennedy, James S., 210. 

Kerr, William M., 489. 

Key, John, 168. 

Kinsland, William, 436. 

Kirklin, Mrs. Louisa, 146. 

Knoxville, occupied by Burn- 
side, 285; Longstreet's re- 
pulse at, 285. 

Knoxville Whig, 501. 

Lay delegates seated in 1867, 

Lee, Dr. Leroy M., 205. 
Letter of Bishop Morris, 7. 
Lewis, Charles K., 78. 
Little, Joshua B., 216. 
Long, Carroll, 459. 
Long, William R., 124. 
Longstreet • in Upper East 

Tennessee, 286. 
Lotspeich, Samuel, 141. 
Louisville Convention, 11. 
Lyle, Daniel, 140. 

Mann, Jonathan L., 349. 
Marion Ensign, 365. 
Marion, Va., 218. 
Martha Washington College, 

212, 237, 401, 454. 
Maryville Republican, 504. 
Mathes, Allen H., 51. 
Matlock, protest of Dr., 478. 
Maupin, Milton, 87. 
McAnally, David Rice, 109. 
McMahon, J. B., 192. 
McTyeire, Bishop, 437. 
Membership, falling off in, 

Memorial to General Con- 
ference of M. E. Church 
on the property question, 

Methodist Episcopalian, 22, 

Milburn, William, 351. 
Miller, Mrs. Frances, 294. 
Miller, Oliver, ,294. 
Mitchell, Charles, 234. 
Munsey, Zachary, 95. 

Name of the Church, pro- 
posed change, 424. 

Neal, Henry C, 460; account 
of his whipping, 472. 

Nelson, Judge Thomas A. R., 

Newtown District, 227. 



Opinion of Supreme Court, 6. 
Organization of the M. E. 
Church, South, I. 

Page, Gabriel F., 27. 

Paine, Bishop Robert, 65. 

Parker, Bill, 290. 

Patton, Samuel, editor, 22; 
death, 176. 

Peck, Joseph H., 90. 

Pendergrast, J. C, 115, 128. 

Penley, George W., 436. 

Philippics of the Press and 
Messenger, 495. 

Pierce, Bishop George Fos- 
ter, 183. 

Plan of Separation repudiat- 
ed, 2. 

Political dabbling, 297. 

Pope, Thomas J., 268. 

Price, John W., 326. 

Price, Joseph H., 64. 

Price, Mrs. Mary, 338. 

.Price, R. N., location, 216. 

Price, Judge William C, 330. 

Property question, 423, 444, 
455, 483, 486. 

Publishing House exhibit, 

Putnam, Dr. A. C, 504. 

Reagan, Daniel R., 437. 

Reagan, James Americus, 161. 

Reagan, Judge John H., 164. 

Reneau, Russell, 34. 

Report of Committee of In- 
vestigation in 1862, 308. 

Revival at Henninger's Chap- 
el, 143. 

Ring, David, 26. 

Roberts, Joshua, 419. 

Roberts, Philetus, Esq., 421. 

Rogers, Josiah, 145. 

Rogers, William H., 350. 

Ross, Col. John, 81. 

Ross's Landing, 228. 

Rowley, Erastus, 220. 

Ruble, John, 58. 

Rule on slavery, 71. 
Russell, Thomas H., 370. 

Schools during the war, 347. 
Secession, question of, 280. 
Sehon, Edmund W., 189. 
Sevier, E. F., death of, 313. 
Slavery rule stricken out, 209. 
Sluder, Mrs. Ervin, 137. 
Smith, bequest of Miss, 444. 
Smith, Conaro Drayton, 317. 
Smith, Jacob, 489; abuse of, 
492; suit for damages, 507. 
Smyth County, 218. 
Snapp, George K., 124. 
Southern Advocate, 306. 
Southern Methodist Pulpit, 


Spring Place Mission, 77 

Stanton-Ames Order, 478. 

State of Church in 1865, 405. 

Statistics; 1845: 26; 1846,42; 
1847, 51; 1848,65; 1849,72; 
1850, 88; 1851, 98; 1852, 
117; 1853, 155; 1854, 177; 
1855, 191; 1856, 205; 1857, 
213; 1858, 225; 1859, 239; 
i860, 264; 1861, 267; 1862, 
314; 1863, 349; 1864, 366; 
1865, 410; 1866, 432; 1867, 
446; 1868, 459; 1869,488. 

Stevens, Rufus M., 370. 

Stewart, A. D., 435. 

Stewart, Richard A., 436. 

Stewart, William D., 144. 

Stradley, John R., 276. 

Strawberry Plains College, 
63; in debt, 203. 

Strawberry Plains High 
School, 86, 116. 

Stringfield, Thomas, slan- 
dered, 61. 

Sturges, William, 72. 

Sullins College, origin of, 

Swisher, J. G., 459. 

Taylor, Charles, 176. 
Temple, O. P., 384- 



Theological institutions con- 
demned, 21. 

Theological school consid- 
ered, 224. 

Thomas, T. P., 210. 

Thompson, John W., 72. 

Thurmon, Stephen D., 145. 

Truslow, Mrs. Elizabeth, 128. 

Turkey Creek Camp Ground, 

Union citizens arrested, 352. 
Union preachers dealt with, 

300, 342, 361. 
"United States Church," 476. 

Vance, David, 132. 
Vance, Robert B., 385. 
Varnell, John M., 217. 

Wagg, John D., 437. 

Waters, Lemuel C, 192, 268. 
Waugh Fund, 348, 454. 
Waugh, murder of, 288. 
Weaverville College, 164. 
Wells, Randolph Dulaney, 90. 
West, Hezekiah, 268. 
Wexler, Edwin C, 415. 
Whaley, Rufus M., 90. 
Whipping rebels in East 

Tennessee, 410. 
Wightman, Bishop William 

M., 480. 
Wiley, C. H., 484. 
Wilhoit, John W., 201. 
Williams, Adonijah, 158. 
Wilson, Leander, 101. 
Winnifred, John, 64. 
Woodfin, John F., 436. 
Worley, Ambrose Gaines, 436. 

Young, Robert A., 43.